New I-9 Form for 2013

Unless you have never worked before, the I-9 is a form that you may remember having to complete. All employers and employees in the United States must complete their respective sections of this form when an employer-employee relationship is formed. All employees must have authorization to work in the United States, and the I-9 is a tool for verification and identification that employers are obligated to use to demonstrate compliance. (Naturally, even US citizens need to fill out the I-9 to prove their eligibility to work.) However, it should be noted that Form I-9 is only for people who are actually hired as employees, meaning that independent contractors do not need to fill out Form I-9. But for employees, it should be filed when the employee begins work. It also does not matter in what form the employee is paid in, as long as there is remuneration. Because of confusion on how to fill out the I-9, USCIS recently updated the form on March 8th, 2013, with instructions that the new form must be exclusively used by May 7, 2013.

Section 1

During the first day of employment, the employee should complete Section 1. The employer has the responsibility of providing a translator, if required, as well as ensuring that section 1 is properly filled out and signed. Some important tips to remember: if an employee has two last names, both should be included (with a hyphen in between them). When including the employee’s address, if there is no street address, then a description of where the residence is located should be provided. Also, because entering an email or phone number is voluntary, an employee can write “n/a” instead, as nothing should be left blank. Finally, for anyone who is actually familiar with the old form, USCIS has implemented some noticeable changes. The new I-9 contains new data fields, which include information for foreign passports, telephone numbers and email addresses. This has been added so as to make it easier for USCIS to match information with the E-Verify system.

Section 2

Before this section is filled out, the employee must provide the employer with documentation proving his or her work authorization within three days. These documents should be examined by whoever is authorized to sign section 2, with the employee present. The employer should ensure that the documents presented appear valid, and that there is at least one document from List A, List B and List C. If the employer decides to make photocopies of documents provided, then it should do so for all employees, regardless of country of origin. With the updated form, there will be larger document entry fields and clarifications for the three attestations that an employer makes during certification. These changes were done because of instances in which documents in List A were too long for the space provided, and to add room for SEVIS registration and Employer Authorization Documents