US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently published a notice that employers should continue using the current version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, beyond the form’s expiration date of August 31, 2012 until it publishes a final revised Form I-9.  The form instructions state that the agency also accepts the prior version of the Form I-9, which bears a revision date of February 2, 2009.  All US employers must complete and maintain a Form I-9 for all individuals hired to work in the US.

USCIS is now reviewing public comments received from its March 27, 2012, proposed revision of the Form I-9.  The draft of the proposed form includes some significant changes such as expanding the one-page form to two-pages.  Additional fields are added to Section 1 requesting more employee data such as optional fields for email and a telephone number.  The form also requires the employee to provide his/her foreign passport number and country of issuance if the employee was issued an I-94 at an airport or land border.  Sections 2 and 3 would appear on the second page and include some formatting changes.  A completely new addition to the I-9 would be a three-dimensional (3-D) barcode that presumably will be utilized by government agencies in the event of an audit.

Whether the final version of the Form I-9 contains these changes or others, employers will have to absorb any new requirements and adapt their hiring and compliance policies accordingly.  Look to this blog and your Squire Sanders contact for updates and guidance on the upcoming revisions to the Form I‑9.