The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently reminded employers that they are required to use the new Form I-9 on or after April 3, 2009. The USCIS initially planned to implement this form on February 2, 2009 but the Obama Administration delayed the implementation to review the form. After its review, the Obama Administration decided not to further delay the implementation of the new revised Form I-9.

The new revised Form I-9 narrows the list of acceptable identity documents and further specifies that expired documents are not considered acceptable forms of identification. The USCIS stated in its interim final rule that the revised Form will significantly improve the security of the employment eligibility verification process. The revised Form I-9 contains the following modifications:  

  1. Requires that all documents presented during the verification process be unexpired. If a document does not contain an expiration date (such as a Social Security card) it is considered unexpired.  
  2. Eliminates Forms I-688, Temporary Resident Card and I-688A and I-688B Employment Authorization Cards from List A of the form because the USCIS no longer issues these cards.  
  3. Adds to List A as evidence of identity and employment authorization:  

A. A temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa in addition to a foreign passport; and  

B. Valid passports for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands along with Form I-94 indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact Free Association between the United States and these republics.  

  1. Makes other technical changes to update the list of acceptable documents.  

Since the release of the interim final rule implementing these changes, the USCIS published a final rule on February 23, 2009 stating that a military identification card issued by the U.S. Armed Forces is an acceptable List A document if the employer is the Armed Forces and the Form I-9 is completed for the purposes of military enlistment.  

A copy of the new revised Form I-9 with a revision date of 02/02/09 can be found at www.uscis.gov/i-9. Additionally, the USCIS has revised its Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M- 274) which is also available on the USCIS website. The USCIS has warned that employers who continue to use the 06/05/2007 addition of the Form I-9 on or after April 3, 2009 maybe subject to civil monetary penalties in an Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforcement action.