Employers must begin using the new Form I-9 after December 26, 2007, or they may be subject to penalties. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") last month announced the issuance of a revised Form I-9 and handbook to assist employers to complete the new Form I-9 (see our Executive Alert of November 8, 2007). With the new Form I-9, employers may no longer use the following former "List A" documents, which previously could be used as proof of employment eligibility and identity:

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151)
  • Unexpired Reentry Permit (Form 1-327)
  • Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)

These documents have been eliminated from the new Form I-9 because they lack features to help deter counterfeiting, tampering and fraud.

One document was added to "List A" and may now be used as proof of employment eligibility and identity: Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766). In addition, employees are no longer required to provide their Social Security Number in Section 1 of the Form I-9, unless they are employed by an employer who participates in E-Verify.

Although employers have until December 26 to transition to the new form, it is recommended that they begin using the new Form I-9 immediately. Employers do not need to complete a new Form I-9 for existing employees, but do have to use the revised Form I-9 for all re-verifications.

The new I-9 form is available online at:  http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf or may be ordered by calling USCIS at 1-800-870-3676. The revised version of the "Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9." is available online at:  http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274.pdf, Please call us with any questions.