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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in a notice issued March 7 announced that employers should begin using a revised version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form immediately.
In the notice, published in the March 8 Federal Register (78 Fed. Reg. 15,030), USCIS said employers should start using the new I-9 form with the revision date of “(Rev. 03/08/13) N” beginning on March 8.
However, the agency said it recognizes that some employers may need additional time to update their business processes, especially where they are using electronic I-9 forms. Therefore, the older version of the I-9 will be accepted up to 60 days after the date the notice is published.
USCIS noted that the revised I-9 does not need to be completed for existing employees who already have an I-9 on file, unless their employment eligibility needs to be reverified. The agency cautioned that unnecessarily reverifying employees' employment eligibility could violate the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
According to USCIS, the I-9 contains three sections:
• Section 1 collects identifying information about the employee, asks him or her to attest to being a citizen, noncitizen national, lawful permanent resident, or alien authorized to work, and asks the employee to provide documentation proving identity and work authorization;
• Section 2 collects information from the employer and the identity and work authorization documentation provided by the employee; and
• Section 3 collects information regarding the employee's continued work authorization when the documentation in Section 1 or Section 2 expires.
The main changes to the newly revised I-9 are additional data fields, including: the employee's foreign passport information (if applicable), telephone number, and email address; improved instructions; and a revised layout that expands the form to two pages instead of one, not counting the instructions and list of acceptable documents.
USCIS initially announced that it planned to change the I-9 in March 2012, inviting the public to comment on the proposed changes (63 BTM 107, 4/3/12). The agency received comments from over 6,200 commenters in response.
In August 2012, USCIS again invited public comments. The agency also extended the comment period after issuing two corrections.
The new form will be available on USCIS's website at http://www.uscis.gov; employers also can obtain forms by calling 1-800-870-3676. More information about the I-9 process is available through USCIS's National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283 and athttp://www.uscis.gov/I-9Central.
A Spanish version of the revised form is available on the USCIS website for use in Puerto Rico only.
According to USCIS, employers must maintain I-9 forms for their employees as long as they work for the employer, and for the required retention period after the end of employment. That period either is three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ended, whichever is later.
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Employers also must make their I-9 forms available for inspection by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Justice Department's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, and the Labor Department.
Text of the notice is available at http://op.bna.com/dlrcases.nsf/r?Open=lfrs-95kprj.
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