One business day prior to its implementation, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has delayed by 60 days until April 3, 2009, the implementation of an interim final regulation which would “streamline” the Employment Eligibility Verify (Form I-9) process. The interim final regulation in its current format would amend the types of acceptable identification and employment authorization documents employees could present to their employers for completion of the Form I-9. Additionally, the interim final regulation in its current format would not allow employers to accept expired documents to verify employment authorization on the Form I-9.
In its press release, the USCIS stated that the delay will provide the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with another opportunity for further consideration of the regulation. The USCIS has also agreed to reopen the public comment on the regulation for 30 days until March 4, 2009. Similar to other pending regulations that have not yet been implemented, the delay will allow the new Obama Administration to review and potentially modify the regulation. The USCIS first introduced this regulation more than ten years ago. Many argued that the additional delay to allow the new administration time to review the regulation would not impact the employment eligibility verification process because these proposed changes have been pending for such a long time.