Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

US Employers: It’s Time For New I-9 Forms

Posted by Jon Elliott on Tue, Apr 09, 2013 now, every reader should know that employers in the United States must verify would-be employees’ eligibility to work in the U.S.  The critical form for doing so is Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), issued and administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) unit of the federal Department of Homeland Security.

You may or may not have seen the reports that USCIS issued a revised I-9 Form in March, “Rev. 03/18/13”, which all U.S. employers must use beginning May 7, 2013.  This gives employers a few more weeks to retool their procedures and to use up their stocks of the earlier forms (“Rev. 08/07/09”).

What has changed?

The revised I-9 updates information requirements slightly, and expands from one sheet to two because of larger fonts and more spacing in the question/answer blocks (I must not be the only person whose eyesight is deteriorating).  New or revised information consists of the following:

  • The former block for “Maiden Name” has now been generalized to ask for “Other Names Used (if any)”

  • The block for “Social Security Number” now specifies “U.S. Social Security Number” (lest one mistakenly use a Canadian Social Insurance Number or other national identifier, presumably).

  • Blocks have been added for the employee’s email address and telephone number

  • Blocks for employer representatives to list employee documents actually reviewed have been reformatted to clarify required information about each such document.

With these changes, the forms provide for the following information:

  • Section 1 – Employee Information and Attestation

    • Employee name, address, date of birth, email and telephone contact
    • Employee attestation of eligibility (U.S.citizen or eligible non-citizen)
    • Employee acknowledgement of criminal penalties for false information
    • Employee signature and date of signing
    • Name and contact information of a preparer or translator, if any, who prepared the information in this Section.
  • Section 2 – Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification
    • Employee name from Section 1
    • Documents reviewed [Form I-9 provides three complementary lists, and specifies permissible combinations of documents]
    • Employer/representative name and contact information
    • Employer/representative attestation under penalty of perjury that identified documents were reviewed and believed to be genuine.
  • Section 3 – Reverification and Rehires
    • Employee name (including new name if applicable) and date of rehire
    • Documents reviewed to reverify eligibility
    • Employer/representative attestation under penalty of perjury that identified documents were reviewed and believed to be genuine.

USCIS has also made conforming revisions to the following instructional materials intended to help employers comply:

    • Instructions that make up most of the same electronic file (Instructions are pages 1 – 6, the I-9 Form itself is pages 7 – 8, and the lists of acceptable documents for verification purposes is page 9)
    • “Handbook for Employers – Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form)”, which offers 66 pages of information, including situational examples, dozens of frequently asked questions, and images of the acceptable documents so employers can know what they look like.

Finally, USCIS has also updated its online eligibility verification system, E-VerifyEmployers can register with E-Verify, log in to enter information from an applicant’s I-9 and receive verification of eligibility.  Use of E-Verify is optional for most employers, but some agencies may require contractors to use it.  This system is not perfect, but its use is expanding. The following checklist provides guidance on the types of questions to ask about your organization.

Implementation Checklist

  • Has the organization established procedures to ensure that each new hire is eligible to work in the United States, using USCIS Form I-9?

    • Does the organization ensure that each new hire completes Form I-9?
    • Does the organization provide new hires the opportunity to use translators or preparers to assist in completing Form I-9, if necessary?
  • Does the organization provide training to ensure that personnel who review and verify forms for completeness, ensure that they follow procedures that ensure the organization’s compliance with USCIS requirements, and also ensure against possible discrimination against prospective employees?
  • Does the organization use E-Verify?

    • On an optional basis?

    • Because required to do so by applicable state law and/or contractual obligations?

  • Has the organization begun to use the latest revised Form I-9 (rev. 3/8/13)? 
    • If so, has the organization ensured that previous revisions of the Form and guidance are no longer readily available for potential (mis)use by personnel involved in hiring?

Where Can I Go For More Information?


About the Author Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 25 years. He was involved in developing 16 existing products,including Workplace Violence Prevention: A Practical Guide to Security on the Job,Securities Law and Directors' and Officers' Liability.

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at:

Tags: Business & Legal, Employer Best Practices, Employee Rights, EEOC