The New Employment Eligibility Form (I-9)- Mandatory as of May 7, 2013

Most if not all employers are or should be familiar with the I-9 form. Under federal law, all employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. Failure to prepare and maintain the I-9 form, indicating compliance with the verification of identity and employment authorization can lead to major penalties for employers.

The I-9 form is completed by both the employer and employee and the form (and any copies of the verifying information, if employer keeps copies of the Identification and verification documents) must be kept by the employer for three years after the hire date or one year after termination of the employee. This form does not need to be filed with the government. It merely needs to be kept in the employer’s files for the required time. The completed form must be in English. Please note that the employer’s handling of the I-9 process must be uniform for all new employees and re-verifications. For example, if there is a policy of maintaining copies of documents used for verifying eligibility, this must be done for all employees being verified. The I-9 must be completed by the first day of employment.

On March 8, 2013, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) updated and published a new I-9 employer eligibility form. USCIS gave employers 60 days to become familiar with the form and use of the form was not required – until May 7th!

As of May 7, 2013, use of the new I-9 form will be mandatory. To obtain a copy of the new I-9 form, please visit USCIS’s website:

Please read the form closely to understand its use and requirements. Certain limitations apply to re-verification of employment authorizations. For example Green Card holders, US citizens or those individuals whose employment authorization does not expire, should not be re-verified!

For further information, you may contact our office or the USCIS directly.

There is a Handbook for Employers which can be downloaded from the USCIS website,

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