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USCIS Releases New Form I-9 3/8/13

by Adair Melinsky Buckner on Mar. 12, 2013

Employment Labor Law Employment  Employee Rights Employment  Employment Discrimination 

Summary: USCIS Releases New Form I-9 3/8/13. Deadline for using new form is May 7, 2013, but use can begin immediately.

On March 8, 2013, with no fanfare or public news release that I’ve seen, USCIS released the new I-9 Form.  The USCIS website states that the new form should be used with new hires beginning March 8, 2013, but also provides that old forms can continue to be used until May 7, 2013.  After that date, however, the new form must be used.  Failure to meet compliance with Form I-9 regs, including using the new form, can result in audits and fines, so it is important for employers to understand the changes.

Here is the link to the website for the new form, in English and Spanish, and the handbook for employers for completing the I-9:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=31b3ab0a43b5d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=7d316c0b4c3bf110VgnVCM1000004718190aRCRD

These are some of the “positive” changes on the new Form I-9:

  • The form itself has been expanded to two pages, and a new field on the top of Page 2 asks for the employee name, in case the pages get separated.
  • Improvement in heading lines for the document fields clarify where List B and C information should be placed on the form.
  • Perjury language has been repositioned and enumerated for clarification and readability to avoid any confusion.
  • New language helps employers understand what documents are acceptable for non-immigrant aliens, and the cases in which a Social Security Card does not grant an individual permission for work.

Gray areas with new form:

  • The “Updating and Reverification” section name has been changed to “Reverification and Rehires.” This makes it unclear whether this section should be used when updating an employee’s name.
  • The new form asks for “the employee’s first day of work for pay.” This field raises some possible confusion if the employee does not start work on that date, perhaps if being paid for training before beginning work.  Does the employer have to update this later when work actually begins?
  • The new proposed form includes fields for an employee’s phone number and email address. These fields are optional, but there is concern with the public and with employers that the DHS should not have this information.  DHS could use this to contact individuals directly to probe for potential employer violations.
  • The U.S. Customs and Immigration Services is starting to create a new identification number for non-citizens, to be used throughout the immigration process. Currently, the USCIS number and Alien number are the same; the addition of a new USCIS number may cause more confusion.
  • The form also has an area designated for a 3-D barcode. The reason for this has not been explained.  Again, this raises privacy concerns and issues over the government collecting employee data.

Adair Buckner is an Amarillo attorney with Buckner & Cross, L.L.P.  She is Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her other areas of practice include business law, business disputes, commercial litigation, estate planning, and probate. You can reach Adair at (806)-322-7777 or adair@bucknercross-law.com. This material is not intended to be legal advice. The contents are intended for general information purposes only.


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