On August 13, 2012, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 (with a revision date of August 7, 2009), the form that must be completed by all employers to verify the employment eligibility of every new hire, will continue to be valid beyond its planned expiration date of August 31, 2012. Until further notice, employers should continue using this version of the form, currently available on the forms section of the USCIS website. USCIS’ instructions for the Form I-9 state that the agency also accepts the prior version of the Form I-9, which shows a revision date of February 2, 2009.

As we reported in the April 2012 issue of the Immigration eAuthority, on March 27, 2012, USCIS published a draft of proposed revisions to the Form I-9. A second revised version was released in July 2012. Some of the more noteworthy revisions include: expanded Form I-9 instructions and a revised layout; new, optional data fields to collect the employee’s email address and telephone number; and new data fields to collect the foreign passport number and country of issuance, if employees use their I-94 and foreign passport for work authorization. USCIS accepted comments on the proposed changes until May 29, 2012. Recently, USCIS provided an additional 30 days for the public to comment on changes to the form and will accept comments until September 21, 2012.

USCIS’ August 13 announcement makes it clear that the agency will not publish a final revised Form I-9 before the expiration date of the current form. Ogletree Deakins is closely following developments regarding the proposed revisions to Form I-9 and will provide updates as they become available.