On November 7, 2007, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS") released a newly revised Form I-9, governing employment eligibility verification procedures. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 ("IRCA"), it is illegal for U.S. employers to hire undocumented workers. To satisfy IRCA's requirements, an employer must verify the identity and employment eligibility of every employee by filling out an Employment Eligibility Verification Form. To complete the Form I-9, the employee must, within three days of hire, present to the employer original documents demonstrating that he or she is authorized to work in the United States. Employers must accept documents that appear on their face to be authentic and relate to the individual.
Summary of New Form
The new Form I-9 eliminates the following five formerly acceptable documents from List A:
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
- Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
- Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151)
- Unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327)
- Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)
The new Form I-9 also adds "Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766)" to List A's Acceptable Documents List. No changes were made to the acceptable documents listed on List B and List C.
USCIS will allow employers 30 days to transition to the new form after it publishes an initial notice in the Federal Register. However, clients are strongly encouraged to begin using the form immediately. After the effective date employers may incur fines and penalties for non-use of the new Form I-9.
The Form I-9 instructions note that employers who re-verify employees must use the new Form I-9, but do not need to complete new forms for existing employees with completed older versions. In addition, the new Form I-9 instructions mandate that employees provide their Social Security number in Section 1 of the form only if their employer participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is a Department of Homeland Security internet system that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees.
If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding the new form or how to comply with its provisions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You also may reference the new USCIS Handbook for Employers (Instructions for Completing the Form I-9), known as the M-274 Handbook.
A copy of the new Form I-9 can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9.pdf and the new M-274 Handbook can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274.pdf.