U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on November 7, 2007 that a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) is now available for use. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee when hired to verify employment eligibility. The new Form I-9 has an edition date of 6/5/2007. As of November 7, previous editions of the form are no longer acceptable. USCIS states that employers must start using the new form immediately, However, it will publish a notice in the Federal Register giving employers 30 days from publication date to transition to the new forms. The new Form I-9 is not a result of any new legislation and does not change the current I-9 process. Previously completed Forms I-9 remain valid, but employers must use the new Form I-9 for reverification and new hires.
The revised Form I-9 conforms to an earlier law and regulations published over 10 years ago designed to reduce the number of documents used to confirm identity and work eligibility. Key to the revision is the removal of five “List A” documents for proof of both identity and employment. USCIS had stated that employers would not be penalized for accepting these removed documents until such time as a new Form I-9 was made public.
Documents which are no longer acceptable under the new Form I-9 instructions include: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-570); Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570); Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151); the unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327); and the unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571). USCIS states that the forms were removed because they lack features to help deter counterfeiting, tampering, and fraud. (The removed Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151) is the old green version of the card which has not been valid for well over 20 years).
Additionally, the most recent version of the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) was added to List A of the List of Acceptable Documents. The revised list now includes: a U.S. passport (unexpired or expired); a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551); an unexpired foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp; an unexpired Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766, I-688, I-688A, or I-688B); and an unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) for nonimmigrant aliens authorized to work for a specific employer.
USCIS states that completion of a Social Security number by the employee in Part 1 of the Form I-9 is optional, unless the employer is enrolled in the government’s electronic employment verification (“E-Verify”) program.
Both the revised Form I-9 and a revised “Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) are available online at www.uscis.gov.