USCIS released a revised I-9 Form, Employment Eligibility Verification, on November 7, 2007. The primary change is the elimination of five documents that were previously included on List A as acceptable for proof of both identity and employment eligibility:
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-570)
- Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
- Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151 - the current I-551 Permanent Resident Card stays on List A)
- Reentry Permit (Form I-327)
- Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)
According to USCIS, the above forms were eliminated from the list because they do not contain adequate features to deter counterfeiting and fraud. One document was added to List A — unexpired employment authorization document (I-688, I-688A, I-688B and I-766). However, employers are not required to re-verify I-9 forms for employees who previously presented documents on the list of eliminated documents and can wait to complete Part Three of the new form to re-verify continued work eligibility as needed only because a work authorization card or status is expiring.
USCIS encourages the use of the new I-9 Form (dated June 5, 2007) immediately. However, employers will not be required to begin using the new I-9 Form until it is published in the Federal Register (which is expected soon) and may then be given a 30-day window to make the transition to the use of the new form.
The new form can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9.pdf. The Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274.pdf. The new Handbook contains updated examples of completed I-9s and updated, color copies of acceptable documents.
Given the recent increased enforcement of employer obligations to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees and criminal penalties imposed, employers should make sure they are in compliance. If you need assistance with internal audits of your files, or reviewing your I-9s for compliance, please contact us.