Beginning on April 3, 2009, employers must use the new Form I-9 Employer Eligibility Verification when verifying and reverifying the employment eligibility of their workers. The current version of Form I-9 may be used through April 2, 2009, but it will no longer be valid for use on or after April 3, 2009.

In our January 15, 2009 Alert, we reported that employers would be required to complete a new, revised Form I-9 for all newly hired workers, and for reverification of certain existing workers, beginning February 2, 2009. In our February 3, 2009 Alert, we reported that implementation of the rule had been delayed for a further 60 days to afford time for "notice and comment" and additional U.S. Department of Homeland Security review. That 60-day period has not been extended; thus, the new Form I-9 will go into effect on April 3, 2009.

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the new Form I-9 will be available on the website "in the near future." USCIS has posted a "Questions and Answers" section about the new Form I-9. The most significant changes to the form include a reduced list of acceptable documents, a revised instructions sheet and a new Form M-274 Handbook for Employers. Additionally, unlike the previous version, the new Form I-9 requires that all documents presented during the verification or reverification process be unexpired.