On November 7, 2007, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, and M-274, Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires that, for each employee hired after November 6, 1986, employers in the United States must document on the Form I-9 that the employee is eligible to work in the United States and verify that the employee's identity matches the documents provided to substantiate their employment authorization.

Revised List of Acceptable Documents

The most significant changes to the Form I-9 are updates to the List of Acceptable Documents to reflect earlier legislation and rules. Five documents have been eliminated from List A of the List of Acceptable Documents. Employers can no longer accept the following:

  • 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).
  • Added to the List of Acceptable Documents is the most recent version of the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766).

The revised list of acceptable documents under List A now includes:

  • A U.S. Passport (expired or unexpired),
  • A Permanent Resident Card (I-551),
  • An unexpired foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp,
  • An unexpired Employment Authorization Document with a photograph (I-766, I-688, I-688A, or I-688B), or
  • An unexpired foreign passport with Form I-94 for a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer.
  • The acceptable documents under List B and List C have not changed.

Social Security Number

The revised instructions state that the employee is not required to provide his or her Social Security Number in Section 1 of the Form I-9, except where the employer is in the Electronic Employment Eligibility Verification program (E-Verify).

Spanish Version

The revised Form I-9 is available in both English and Spanish. Only employers in Puerto Rico may use the Spanish version for their records. Other employers may use the Spanish version to translate for Spanish-speaking employees, but must actually complete the English version for their records. Employees may request that a translator assist in completing the form.

Requirement to Use the New Form

Employers are encouraged to start using the revised Form I-9 immediately. Once notice is published in the Federal Register, employers may be subject to fines and penalties for failing to use the revised form. Employers are not required to complete new forms for existing employees for whom the employer has a completed Form I-9. If, however, the employer is required to re-verify existing employees, the revised form and the updated list of acceptable documents must be used to re-verify.

The revised Form I-9 (both English and Spanish versions) can be downloaded from: http://www.uscis.gov/i-9

The updated employer handbook is available from: http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274.pdf