The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) and an accompanying Handbook for Employers. The new form and handbook are now available on the Department of Homeland Security website (see links below).

As most employers are aware, Form I-9 requires that employers confirm the identity and employment eligibility of each new hire and complete and retain the form on file. No major changes have been made to the documents, except that the new form now lists only those documents that are acceptable to establish identity and authorization to work, i.e., references to documents that are no longer acceptable have been deleted. The lengthy Handbook explains the purpose of the form and provides instructions for completing it.

Employers are encouraged to use the new forms immediately, but must use them effective December 26, 2007 or be subject to fines and penalties. There is no need to complete new Forms I-9 for current employees unless reverification is necessary.