USCIS Corrects Form I-9 Instructions – New Effective Date

USCIS’ announcement and release of the revised Form I-9 last month threw almost everyone into a frenzy of activity reviewing and commenting on the final changes to the form. One common question was what the actual “effective” date would be since there appeared to be discrepancies in the official guidance.  Was it May 7th or May 8th?  The answer is now clear; the effective date is May 7th.  On May 7th, employers must begin using the new, revised Form I-9.  USCIS issued a correction in the Federal Register today to resolve any concerns once and for all. LawLogix also reached out to USCIS to obtain further clarification on various questions we had regarding the new Form I-9.  Here is USCIS’ response to LawLogix’ queries:

Question:

Assuming an employee is rehired within three years of the previous Form I-9 and there is no change of status, may the employer complete Section 3 on the previous Form?   I-9 central (on the “What’s New Page”) indicates that both rehires and re-verifications must use the new version of the form.   However, the M-274 has the usual rule that rehires can use a Section 3 on a previous form as long as there is room for it.

Answer:

The rule in the M-274 that you reference regarding rehires using Section 3 on the previous form does apply.  Employers would need to use Section 3 of the new form (Form I-9 Rev. (03/08/13)N) and enter the employee’s name at the top of Page 2 of the completed pages of Form I-9 if Section 3 of the old Form I-9 has already been completed or if employment authorization needs to be re-verified.

If Section 3 has not been completed and employment authorization has not expired such that reverification is not necessary, the employer may complete Section 3 of that Form I-9.

Question:

For reverifications, it seems clear that a new form should be used.  However, in a recent webinar, it was indicated that “employers must use the new Form I-9 for any reverification of employment authorization beginning 03/08/13.” Shouldn’t the 60-day grace period also apply?

Answer:

Employers must use the new form for both new hires and reverification beginning 03/08/13.  However, until May 7, 2013, DHS is permitting employers to use the previously valid version of Form I-9.  The grace period applies for all uses of Form I-9, which includes reverification.

No doubt employers will continue to have other questions that arise during the I-9 process.  Stay updated and informed by subscribing to the LawLogix I-9 and E-Verify Blog.  Discover how the Guardian I-9 and E-Verify Compliance Software can help.  Reach out any one of our expert Guest Attorneys for further assistance on your I-9 compliance needs.