By D&K’s Labor & Employment Team
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that the official revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form (commonly referred as the I-9 form) is now available and that employers should begin using it immediately. The new form can be identified via a revision date of March 8, 2013 in the lower left hand corner and can be obtained at: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.
According to USCIS, the new form contains several improvements designed to reduce completion errors. These include:
- Additional data fields, including the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and e-mail addresses.
- Improvements to the form’s instructions.
- A revised layout of the form, including expanding the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents).
Prior form versions will no longer be accepted after May 7, 2013. A 60 day grace period is being provided to give employers time to update their business processes and/or HR software to accommodate the new form.
It is important to remember that employers must maintain I-9 forms for as long as the individual works for the employer and for either three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ended, whichever is later. I-9 forms should not be kept in the employee’s standard personnel file.
In addition, the recently introduced Senate immigration bill (The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act), referred to as “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” includes provisions that will revise the I-9 process, but, more importantly, will make use of the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers, regardless of size, within four years. E-Verify is a web-based document verification system operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement that allows employers to verify the validity of documents presented during the I-9 process by employees at the time of hire or re-verification. Currently, most federal government contractors and subcontractors are required to use the system and any employer may do so voluntarily.
If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact your Davis & Kuelthau attorney or the Labor & Employment Chair, James M. Kalny, at 920.431.2223 / firstname.lastname@example.org.