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Immigration Alert - Revised Form I-9 Released for Use by Employers

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a notice announcing that employers should begin using a revised version of the Form I-9. The revised I-9 became effective on March 8, but the government has provided a 60-day grace period during which employers may continue to use the old form. The 60-day grace period also provides employers who use electronic I-9 forms to ensure that the system they use is in compliance with the new I-9 form.

After May 7, 2013, employers must only use Form I-9 "(Rev. 03/08/13)N." The new form need only be used for new hires and re-verifications only. Employers must not complete a new form for all existing employees.

The main changes to the newly revised I-9 include additional data fields for 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. The USCIS also issued a revised "Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9," which provides detailed practical guidance about completing the I-9, and USCIS is offering free educational webinars that highlight the new features of the form, including the new fields and format. The new I-9 and Handbook and further information about the webinars may be found at USCIS.gov.

Properly completing the I-9 provides employers with a "good faith" defense to a charge that they are knowingly hiring or employing unauthorized workers. Therefore, prudent employers will immediately begin using the new form I-9, and ensure that their human resource teams review the USCIS Handbook and receive sufficient training about the I-9 process.

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About this Author

Mariana Richmond, Barnes Thornburg Law firm, Indianapolis, Labor Law Attorney
Partner

Mariana Richmond is a partner in the Corporate Department in the Indianapolis, Indiana office of Barnes & Thornburg LLP and heads the Immigration Practice Group. She is a member of the Global Services Practice Group and limits her practice to immigration law, serving corporate as well as individual clients. Ms. Richmond assists multinational corporations with the transfer and hiring of foreign nationals for their operations in the United States on a temporary or permanent basis. She advises in-house counsel and human resources administrators who need guidance on immigration matters...

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