A new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, and changes to the accompanying I-9 regulations, will take effect beginning Friday, April 3, 2009. Employers must use the new Form I-9 for all new employees hired on or after April 3, as well as for all reverifications of existing employees' temporary employment authorization documentation that may be required, as of that date. Employers that continue to use any prior edition of the form on or after April 3, 2009 may be subject to fines.
Under the new regulations, expired documents will no longer be acceptable for I-9 purposes. Only unexpired documents or documents without an expiration date may be accepted. The new form I-9 also revises the list of documents found in List A that employers may accept to establish a worker's identity and U.S. employment authorization. The documents that have been added to List A on the new edition of Form I-9 include: foreign passports containing the I-551 permanent residence notation printed on a machine-readable immigrant visa; the new U.S. Passport Card; and passports and certain other documents for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
The new form also eliminates several items from the list of acceptable documents. The documents that have been eliminated from List A include Forms I-688, I-688A and I-688B (so-called Employment Authorization Documents, or "EADs") which have all expired. The current version of the EAD, Form I-766, remains on List A.
The new edition of Form I-9 also changes the part of the form in Section 1 in which new hires attest to their status by creating a separate selection option for non-citizen nationals of the United States to designate their status. Previously, the form contained a single, combined selection option to be chosen by workers who were either U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals.
"Non-citizen nationals" of the United States are individuals who were born in American Samoa, certain residents of the Northern Mariana Islands who have not become U.S. citizens, and certain individuals who were born abroad to non-citizen U.S. nationals. U.S. nationals do not possess full U.S. citizenship; however, they differ from foreign national aliens in that they may enter and work in the United States without restriction.
It is strongly recommended that employers always refer to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' ("USCIS") official website when downloading and using Form I-9. Doing so will ensure the use of the version of the form currently in effect and assist with compliance with current I-9 regulations. Form I-9 may be found at the following link: http://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
USCIS has also issued a new Handbook for Employers. As with the new Form I-9, the policies and procedures proscribed in the new version of the Handbook for Employers also go into effect on April 3, 2009. The Handbook for Employers may be found at the following link: http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274_3apr09.pdf.
It is strongly recommended that employers always refer to USCIS’ official website when downloading and using Form I-9. Doing so will ensure the use of the version of the form currently in effect and assist with compliance with I-9 regulations.