Volume 8, Issue 2
January 23, 2009
On December 17, 2008, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") amended its regulations governing the types of documents that employers may accept in verifying employment eligibility and completing Form I-9. As a result, a revised I-9 Form must now be used by all employers as of February 2, 2009. Previously, a U.S. passport and all List B documents ("Documents that Establish Identity") were acceptable for Form I-9 even if they were expired. The new rule provides, however, that as of February 2, 2009, expired documents are no longer acceptable. The rule also adds the following documents to List A ("Documents that Establish Both Identity and Employment Authorization"):
- foreign passports containing the temporary I-551 notation printed on a machine-readable immigrant visa;
- a passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with a valid Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI; and
- the new U.S. Passport Card.
Further, the new rule removes from List A documents which are no longer produced, specifically: Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and older versions of the Employment Authorization Card/Document). According to the USCIS, if any of these forms are still in circulation, they have expired.
Finally, the new rule also makes technical changes to the list of acceptable documents in List C ("Documents that Establish Employment Authorization") as well as the employee attestation section of Form I-9.
The new I-9 Form can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9_IFR_02-02-09.pdf but should not be used until February 2, 2009. As with prior changes to the I-9 Form, current employees who do not need to re-verify their employment authorization are not required to complete a new I-9 Form. The new Form should be used, therefore, for new hires and those current employees who are subject to re-verification. The USCIS has not yet published a new Handbook with instructions on how to complete the revised I-9 Form, but one should be available at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis in the future.
Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.