By Phillip Schwartz
Hopefully, all employers are aware that they must complete U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9 for each newly hired employee within three (3) days of the new employee’s first day of work. Form I-9 is required for employers to verify a newly hired employee’s identity and eligibility for employment in the United States. The USCIS recently issued a new Form I-9 for use by all employers. This new Form, bearing the 03/08/13 date in the bottom left corner, must be used by all employers as of May 7, 2013. The form may be downloaded at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf. Employers in the continental United States must use the English version (even for Spanish speaking employees) as the Spanish version only approved for employers located in Puerto Rico
While the rules for completing the new Form I-9 are substantially similar to the old Form, the process has changed as the new Form asks for the employee to complete certain personal data on the first page of the form and then instructs the employee to stop. The employer must then complete certain personal data on the second page of the Form by reviewing various documents supplied by the employee to establish identify and authorization for employment. The employer must also sign and date the Form. The complete Form should not be maintained in the individual employee’s personal file. Rather, all completed Forms should be retained in a central location where they can be made readily available for inspection by governmental authorities.