The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has reported that publication of a new Form I-9 and employer handbook is imminent, perhaps even as soon as November 5, 2007. Although the original plan had been to publish a new regulation first and then issue the new Form I-9, the new Form I-9 will be based on the regulations published in 1997-98. The DHS still intends to publish a new regulation, with an accompanying new Form I-9, in 2008.

DHS 1997-98 Regulations

In an effort to reduce the use of fraudulent documents, the 1997-98 regulations reduced the number and type of documents acceptable for Form I-9 employment verification purposes. The regulations eliminated several List A documents considered acceptable to establish both employment authorization and identity, including Certificates of U.S. Citizenship, Certificates of Naturalization, unexpired Re-entry Permits, unexpired Refugee Travel Documents, and Form I-151 Alien Registration Receipt Cards or Permanent Residence Cards. Accordingly, only those documents identified below will be listed in the new Form I-9 as an acceptable List A document to establish both employment authorization and identity:

  1. United States Passport (unexpired or expired);
  2. Alien Registration Receipt Card or Permanent Residence Card – Form I-551;
  3. An unexpired foreign passport that contains an unexpired temporary I-551 stamp;
  4. An unexpired Employment Authorization Document issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service which contains a photograph – Form I-766 (added by the 1997 regulation), Form I-688, Form I-688A, or Form I-688B; or
  5. In the case of non-immigrant aliens authorized to work for a specific employer incident to status, an unexpired foreign passport with an Arrival-Departure record, Form I-94, bearing the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of the alien’s non-immigrant status, so long as the period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified on the Form I-94.

Like the current one, the new Form I-9 will be available for download and copying at no cost on the USCIS website – www.uscis.gov/I-9.