The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9.

Employers are required to complete Form I-9s for all newly hired employees to verify the individual’s identity and authorization to work in the United States.  Form I-9s also need to be completed for existing employees who already have an I-9 on file if their employment eligibility needs to be re-verified.

Employers are mandated to retain the form for the duration of the employee’s employment, and for at least three years after the employee’s hire or one year after the cessation of the employee’s employment, whichever is longer.

The revisions to the Form I-9 are primarily formatting changes, additional data requirements and further instructions to the employer.  Although available immediately, employers do not need to start using the new I-9s until May 8, 2013.

The penalties for failing to maintain and retain the Form I-9s include fines of up to $1,000.00 per I-9, as well as potential criminal penalties as well.