New form I-9The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) have released a new form I-9.  This is the first change in almost 25 years according to the Society for Human Resource Management.  The new form incorporates new fields and has been reformatted.  USCIS hopes this will reduce errors in completion.

Employers may begin using the new form as of March 8, 2013, but have a 60 day window until May 7, 2013, to continue using the old form.  The form is also available in Spanish, but the Spanish form is for use in Puerto Rico only.  Businesses in the 50 states may use the new Spanish form for reference but must complete the English language form for all employees.

Employers are not required to complete new I-9 forms on existing employees and should only use the new form for employees starting after March 8, 2013.

The new form is easily recognizable because it is 2 pages as opposed to the former 1 page form.  It adds areas for an employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable), email address, and telephone number.

As noted in my recent handbook editions on Recordkeeping, employers must keep the I-9 forms for their employees as long as they are employed and the latter of 3 years after the employee’s start date or 1 year after the employee leaves the company.