Client Alert: Reminder — Employers Must Use New Version of Form I-9 Effective April 3, 2009

March 31, 2009

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is said to be preparing a directive to focus immigration enforcement actions on U.S. employers of unauthorized foreign workers, as opposed to directing actions against the workers themselves.  With this in mind, U.S. employers should be vigilant in ensuring compliance with verification of employment authorization for all employees, and the proper completion and maintenance of the I-9 form used for verification.

As a reminder, there is a new version of Form I-9 that takes effect this Friday, April 3.  For any new hires prior to that date, you must use the current version marked with the revision date of (Rev. 06/05/07) N in the lower right corner.  However, effective April 3, 2009 and thereafter, U.S. employers must use the new version of Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification).  The revision date of the new version is printed in the lower right corner of the form — (Rev. 02/02/09) N. 

Please review your existing stocks of blank Forms I-9 and replace them with this new version beginning Friday, April 3.  From that date forward, all new I-9 verifications must be made using the updated version, or the employer will be subject to applicable penalties.  Please note that employers do not need to complete new I-9s for current employees on the revised form.  Employers only need to ensure that all new hires or re-hires from April 3 going forward are verified on the new version of Form I-9.

We have attached links to the new revision of Form I-9 and the revised Handbook for Employers.  Clients requiring additional information, or I-9 training or audits, should contact a member of the Immigration Services group.

Form I-9 to be used on and after April 3, 2009.

Handbook for Employers effective April 3, 2009.