USCIS Releases New Employment Eligibility I-9 Form

March 15, 2013

On March 5, 2013, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) released a newly-revised I-9 form.  Employers must complete Form I-9 to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of each new employee (both citizen and non-citizen) hired to work in the United States after November 4, 1986.  The new form can be found at the USCIS website

Although all employers are required to use the new I-9 form immediately, the USCIS has provided a 60-day grace period for employers to continue to use the current version of the form issued 08/07/09 (the 02/02/09 version is also still valid) until May 7, 2013.  Failure to comply with the new I-9 form by May 7, 2013 may subject an employer to civil penalties of up to $1,100 per I-9, and in some cases, possible criminal penalties.



The overall layout of the new I-9 form is much clearer, which was intended by the USCIS to aid in ease of form completion, as well as to minimize errors. The most noticeable changes to the new I-9 form include: the expansion of the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents); more expansive and succinct instructions; and additional data fields in Section 1.

Here is a quick breakdown of the new I-9 form for your convenience:


  • Additional fields for employees to list their email address and telephone number have been added, but are optional.
  • Employees who check “An Alien Authorized to work until…” and were issued an I-94 card will need to list their foreign passport and country of issuance.


  • Employers must list the employee’s full name in the appropriate box at the top of Section 2.
  •  Numbers have been added to the items that HR representatives must attest to when reviewing the documents (serving almost as an employer checklist).
  • There is a new and much clearer field for an employer to insert the employee’s first date of work for pay, from where it has been previously listed.
  • List A now has room to list three documents since there are certain occasions when three documents are required, e.g. J-1 visa holders, or F-1 students completing optional practical training (previously there was only room for two documents). For employees that only require one document for List A, filling out only one space with the required document information as before, is correct.


  • Clarifies that List B identity documents do not require re-verification.
  • Adds a field for the employer representative to print their name.
  • To avoid potential discrimination claims, do not complete the new I-9 form for current employees who have already properly completed an I-9 form that is on record, unless re-verification applies. LIST OF ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTS
  • List A: Number 5: Contains revised language but  includes the same information regarding accepting foreign passports and I-94 cards.
  • List C: Number 1: Clarifies that Social Security Cards with restrictions such as “Not Valid For Employment,” “Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization,” or “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization” are not acceptable as List C documents.
  • References to relevant portions of the newly-updated Handbook for Employers (M-274) can be found at and are still the primary reference for employers in completing the I-9 form. RETENTION OF I-9 FORM

Once the individual’s employment has terminated, the employer must retain the I-9 form, for either three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment is terminated, whichever is later. I-9 forms can be retained either on paper or microfilm, or electronically.

If you have any further questions on the new I-9 form, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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