New Federal Employment Form I-9 regarding Employment Eligibility Verification

Gail L. Peek

Beginning on January 22, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) now requires employers to use a new version of Form I-9 to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired, and to re-verify any expiring work eligibility of current employees. Form I-9 requirements were established through the Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) in November 1986. IRCA prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the U.S. without verifying their identity and employment authorization on Form I-9.

The new form (available online at is dated 11/14/2016 at the bottom on the left. Prior versions of the form are no longer valid for use. The new form reflects changes that include the following: (1) requests “other last names used” instead of “other names used”; (2) streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals; (3) allows the entry of multiple preparers and translators; (4) includes a dedicated area for providing additional information; (5) includes a supplemental page for the preparer/translator; and (6) is available in an electronic format that is easier to complete. DHS requires employers to retain and store completed versions of this form either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. The form must be available for inspection by DHS, the U.S. Department of Labor, and the U.S. Department of Justice.

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