The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently published a revised Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. The revised Form I-9 incorporates changes made by a recently released interim final regulation modifying the list of acceptable documents for employment eligibility verification. The USCIS website indicates that employers should still continue to use the edition of the Form I-9 dated June 5, 2007 until February 2, 2009. However, beginning on February 2, 2009, employers are required to begin using the revised Form I-9 for all new hires and reverifications.
The interim final regulation narrows the list of acceptable identity documents and further specifies that expired documents are not considered acceptable forms of identification. The interim final regulation eliminates Forms I-688, I-688A and I-688B from the list of acceptable Form I-9 documents. The interim final regulation requires that all documents presented during the reverification process be unexpired. However, if a document does not contain an expiration date, such as a Social Security Card, it is considered unexpired.
The USCIS also stated that it is in the process of revising the Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) to reflect the revisions contained in the interim final regulation. The revised handbook will replace the current handbook which is currently available on the USCISEwebsite at http://www.uscis.gov/I-9. The Obama Administration has advised its new department heads to review all pending regulations which have not yet been implemented. Because this interim final regulation does not become effective until February 2, 2009, it is assumed that this regulation will also be reviewed by the Obama Administration before it becomes effective. However, because this interim final regulation is not considered to be controversial, it is not assumed that the implementation of the regulation will not be delayed by the Obama Administration.