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New I-9 Form Necessary for New-Hires

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced the newly revised Employment Eligibility Verification form, Form I-9. Employers are required to use the I-9 Form to verify the identity and employment authorization eligibility of their employees. The revisions to Form I-9 contain formatting changes and the inclusion of additional data fields. To utilize best practice, employers should begin using the new Form I-9 with revision date 03/08/13 immediately for all new hires. To ensure the correct form is utilized, the revision date is on the lower left of the new form, which reads "(Rev. 03/08/13)N."

Employers are required to complete Form I-9 for all newly-hired and re-hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. Employers should begin utilizing the new form, which can be obtained at: http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf and is attached hereto, by May 7, 2013.

I. Background
Employers and certain agricultural recruiters and referrers are required to verify on Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) the employment authorization and identity of each individual they hire for employment in the United States. Form I-9 contains three sections:

Section 1: The purpose of Section 1 of the form is to collect, at the time of hire, identifying information about the employee (and preparer or translator if used). Furthermore, this section allows the employee to attest to whether he or she is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, lawful permanent resident, or alien authorized to work in the United States. The employee must also present documentation for review evidencing his or her identity and authorization to engage in this employment.

Section 2: The purpose of Section 2 of the form is to collect, within 3 business days of the employee's hire, identifying information from the employer and information regarding the identity and employment authorization documentation presented by the employee and reviewed by the employer.

Section 3: The purpose of Section 3 of the form is to collect information regarding the continued employment authorization of the employee. This section, if applicable, is completed at the time that the employee's employment authorization and/or employment authorization documentation recorded in either Section 1 or Section 2 of the form expires. This section may also be used if the employee is rehired within 3 years of the date of the initial execution of the form and to record a name change if Section 3 is otherwise completed.

Employers are required to maintain Forms I-9 for as long as an individual works for the employer and for the required retention period for the termination of an individual's employment. This timetable is either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later. Also, employers are required to make their employees' Forms I-9 available for inspection upon request by officers of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, and the Department of Labor.

Failure of an employer to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 may subject the employer to civil money penalties and criminal penalties.

II. Changes to Form I-9
The newly revised Form I-9 makes several improvements designed to minimize errors in form completion. The key revisions to Form I-9 include:

- Adding data fields, which includes the employee's foreign passport information (if applicable), telephone and email addresses.

- Improving the form's instructions.

- Revising the layout of the form.

- Expanding the form from one to two pages (not including the form instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents).

Employers do not need to complete the new Form I-9 (Rev. 03/08/13)N for current employees for whom there is already a properly completed Form I-9 on file, unless re-verification applies. Unnecessary verification may violate anti-discrimination provisions.

Employers should begin utilizing the new Form I-9 with the revision date 03/08/13 for all newly-hired and re-hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States by May 7, 2013. To ensure the correct form is utilized, the revision date is on the lower left of the new form, which reads "(Rev. 03/08/13)N." In order to avoid any potential issues, Employers should begin utilizing the new form immediately for all new and re-hired employees.

(The complete statement issued by the U.S. Government can be read at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-03-08/pdf/2013-05327.pdf)

If you have any questions, please contact your HWE relationship attorney or visit us at http://www.hwelaw.com.

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