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The Form I-9 Gets a Make-Over

With the passage of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, since November 6, 1986, all employers throughout the U.S., small or large, have been obliged to complete a form I-9 to record identity and work authorization documents for every new hire. The government has released six major editions of the I-9 form and on March 8, 2013 it released yet another version as well as a newly minted M-274, Handbook for Employers, Guidance for Completing Form I-9. The I-9 form has been reformatted and expanded and is now a two page form. The instructions are now five pages and the List of Acceptable Documents has changed slightly in format but not in content. The new form may be used as of its effective date of March 8, 2013, but employers have a grace period and may continue to use the older form (08/07/09Y edition) until May 7, 2013. There is no need to complete the new edition of the I-9 for current employees. Recording the social security number is optional, but employers who are registered with E-Verify must obtain the social security number in order to conduct the e-verification, which must be done within three days of hire. With the release of the new I-9, employers should take the opportunity to purge I-9s where the employee is no longer employed and the I-9 was retained for a minimum of three years, including one year after the employee termed.

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