This post was authored by Alka Bahal, Partner in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, NJ office.  It originally appeared on Fox Rothschild’s Immigration View blog.

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for immediate use.  The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a Notice in the Federal Register informing employers of the new Form I-9.  This form replaces all other forms and should be used from today forward for all new hires and reverifications.  The previous editions of the Form (with an OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012) are valid for 60 days.  Thereafter, only the new edition of the form is acceptable.

Improvements to Form I-9 include new data fields, a revised format that expands the form to two pages, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers.

All U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for every employee hired in order to verify that the individual is authorized for employment in the United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).  Beginning May 7, 2013, employers must use the new version of the Form for all new hires and for re-verifying current employees with expiring employment authorization documentation.  [Employers should not complete new Forms for existing employees who do not require re-verification.]  A best practice would be for employers to begin using the new edition of the form immediately.

The new Form I-9 and List of Acceptable Documents is available on USCIS’ website in English and in Spanish.  (Note, however, that the Spanish version of the Form may only be executed by employer’s in Puerto Rico; Employers in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version of the Form as a translation guide, only, but must complete the English version of the Form.)