Earlier today I attended a teleconference hosted by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) regarding the issuance of the new Form I-9.
I will summarize some of the key points from that event:
- The I-9 form itself is now 2 pages long. USCIS is recommending copying the form double-sided when you use it. However, the instructions for completing Section 1 (pages 1 & 2 of the instructions) and the list of acceptable documents (page 9) should also be made available to the new hire.
- Section 1 now contains fields for the new hire to provide their email address and telephone number. These fields are voluntary and may be left blank.
- At the very top of Section 2 (page 8), the employer is required to list the new hire's Last Name, First Name & Middle Initial. Because of the way this page is formatted, this will be something that will be easily missed.
- If you are an E-Verify Employer, you may only accept a Voter Registration Card as a List B document if it has a photo. Not all states issue Voter Registration Cards that include photos. Otherwise, if you are not an E-Verify Employer, you can accept any U.S. Voter Registration Card, whether it has a photo or not.
- In Section 2, the USCIS now provides three separate sections for recording a List A document. If the List A document provided is a U.S. Passport, only the first section will be used. If the List A document is a foreign passport and an I-94 card that provide employment authorization incident to status (such as H-1B or L-1), then the employer will record the foreign passport information in the first section and the I-94 information in the second section. If the List A document is a foreign passport, I-94 card that does not provide employment authorization incident to status (such as F-1 status) and an I-20 showing authorization for Curricular Practical Training, the passport and I-94 information will be recorded in the first two sections, and the I-20 information will be recorded in the third section. For more information on how to use the I-9 form, please refer to the newly updated Handbook for Employers.
- Employers must use the new I-9 form when re-verifying an employee. So, if you have an existing I-9 form for an employee and Sections 1 & 2 have already been completed, but you now have to re-verify that employee's employment authorization, you cannot use Section 3 of your existing I-9 form. Rather, you will have to attach the new I-9 form to your existing one and use Section 3 of the new I-9 to re-verify the employment.
- While a Spanish language version of the I-9 form is provided by the USCIS and may be used for reference by Spanish speakers, this form may only be used to verify employment in Puerto Rico. Employment verification in all 50 States must be done using the English language version of the I-9 form.
- There has been no change in the list of acceptable documents; however, there have been some clarifications about which Social Security Card may be accpeted. Specifically, only unrestricted Social Security Cards may be used as List C documents.
The new I-9 form and instructions are attached here.