Employers Must Begin Using New I-9 Form Effective Immediately

January 2017

Beginning January 22, 2017, employers must use a new Form I-9 dated November 14, 2016.

You can obtain copies of the new I-9 Form on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website. This replaces the version of the I-9 Form dated March 8, 2013.  

Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the United States without verifying their identity and employment authorization using Form I-9.

The new form remains a three-page document, but with minor revisions. Among the changes in the new version, Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used.” Certification for certain foreign nationals is also streamlined.

There is also a new user-friendly “smart” PDF version of the form that can be accessed on the USCIS website. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each blank item, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over.

Failure to use the new Form I-9 may result in the assessment of penalties.

As a reminder, employers are required to retain I-9 Forms for as long as the individual works for the employer. Once the individual’s employment has terminated, employers must retain the I-9 Form for either three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment is terminated – whichever is later. Form I-9s should not be maintained in employees’ personnel files, but should be kept in a separate file that is accessible only to those individuals in the human resources department who need to access the information.


For more information on this issue or other employment matters, please contact:

Mara B. Levin at [email protected] or +1 212 592 1458
Carol M. Goodman at [email protected] or +1 212 592 1465
Jonathan Adler at [email protected] or +1 212 592 5936

© 2017 Herrick, Feinstein LLP. This alert is provided by Herrick, Feinstein LLP to keep its clients and other interested parties informed of current legal developments that may affect or otherwise be of interest to them. The information is not intended as legal advice or legal opinion and should not be construed as such.