United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") has released a new version of Form I-9, which employers must use to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new employees, and new instructions for completing the Form I-9. Employers are required to use the new form beginning on April 3, 2009, and may be subject to fines and penalties if they continue to use the old form after April 2, 2009.

The new Form I-9 limits the number and type of documents that employers can use to verify identity and work eligibility of newly hired employees. Expired documents are no longer acceptable. Documents without expiration dates (i.e. birth certificates, social security cards, etc.) remain acceptable. The following changes were made to the list of acceptable documents:

  • Forms I-688, I-688A and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and older versions of the Employment Authorization Card) were removed from the list of acceptable documents under List A;
  • Foreign passports containing specifically marked, machine-readable visas were added to the list of acceptable documents under List A;
  • Passports from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the FSM or RMI were added to List A; and
  • The new U.S. Passport Card was added to List A.

Employers do not need to complete new forms for existing employees. However, the revised Form I-9 must be used when employers conduct a re-verification of employment eligibility, as well as for initial verification of new hires.

The revised Form I-9, instructions, and Employer Handbook are available on the internet at www.uscis.gov.