Immigration Alert: CIS Issues New Form I-9 – Certain Older Versions of the Form Can Be Used Through May 7, 2013 03/08/2013Posted by Morse, Barnes-Brown Pendleton in Client News.
On November 6, 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act was signed into law and required that every employer verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees in the United States. It also created criminal and civil sanctions for violations. This verification is documented on the Form I-9 and must be completed within strict time periods. Additionally, the Form I-9, and any supporting documents, must be retained for three years from the date of hire or one year from the date of termination, whichever is later. The form must be available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.
For the past several months, employers have had to utilize a Form that had expired. However, on March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“CIS”) issued a new version of the Form I-9.
The new Form I-9 is effective immediately, and can be found at CIS’s website. While the previous versions of the Form dated either 02/02/09 or 08/07/09 will be accepted until May 7, 2013, after then only the Form I-9 dated 03/08/13 may be used. Employers only need to utilize the new Form I-9 for new hires or re-verification. If a current employee already has a properly completed Form I-9, then the employer does not need to complete a new Form I-9.
Civil penalties for technical paperwork violations relating to Form I-9 compliance can vary from $110 to $1100 per violation. It is therefore critical that every employer revisit their hiring practices and ensure that they are utilizing the correct version of the Form, and also adhere to the required timeframes and documentation retention periods. The revision date can be found on the lower left corner of the form.
CIS is in the process of revising the “Handbook for Employers Guidance for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274)” and a new version is expected to be released in the next week. In the meantime, employers should follow the instructions on the new Form I-9 until the Handbook is updated.
Please contact a member of our immigration group if you have any questions relating to Form I-9 compliance or any other important immigration issue.