On November 7, 2007, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services published updated Form I-9 and announced that employers must start to use the updated version of Form I-9. While the new form became available on November 7, 2007, the USCIS provides a 30-day transition period for employers to start using the new version of the form for employment of new employees. The formal notice of this requirement is expected to be published any day in the Federal Register, which will start the 30-day transition period. We advise that all US employers start using the updated From I-9 immediately for new hires. It is not necessary or advisable to redo the already completed I-9's for existing employees, however.

There is little change in the fill-in portion of Form I-9. However, the instruction portion of the updated I-9 has eliminated several "List A" documents that had previously been acceptable for proof of identity and employment eligibility. Certificates of US Citizenship (N-560 or N-570), Certificates of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570), Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151), unexpired Re-Entry Permit (I-327) and unexpired Refugee Travel Document (I-571) are no longer acceptable documents, since they lacked features to deter tampering and other fraud.

I-9 is the form that US employers must use to verify identity and employment authorization for all employees hired in the United States after November 6, 1986. Form I-9 must be completed within 3 days of hire, and in certain situations employees' Form I-9's need to be revalidated to document their continuing employment eligibility.

The updated Form I-9 can be downloaded from the USCIS website at  http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9.pdf. Forms may also be ordered by calling USCIS at 1-800-870-3676. The new employer guide in connection with the I-9 compliance is available at  http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274.pdf.

Please contact us if you have any further questions regarding Form I-9 compliance.