Beginning on February 2, 2009 all employers must use a revised I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form when hiring a new employee or reverifying the work authorization of an existing employee. Below are the key things employers need to know about the revised Form I-9. 1. THE REVISED I-9 MUST BE USED ON/AFTER FEBRUARY 2, 2009  

An “informational-purpose-only” revised I-9 is available here. The government will make available an official I-9 form closer to the February 2, 2009 effective date. From that date forward, all employers must use the revised Form I-9 for all new hires and for reverification of existing or re-hired employees’ work authorization.

2. THE BIGGEST CHANGE - EMPLOYERS MAY NOT ACCEPT EXPIRED DOCUMENTS

As of February 2, 2009, employers may no longer accept any expired documents in completing the Form I-9. Previously employers could accept expired U.S. passports and expired List B documents.

3. OTHER CHANGES TO THE LIST OF ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTS

The government has updated the list of acceptable documents for the revised Form I-9 by:

  • removing from List A Forms I-688, I-688A and I-688B (these I-688 family of cards used to be issued to temporary residents under the 1986 “amnesty” law and to foreign nationals authorized to work, but these cards are no longer being produced); and
  • adding to List A foreign passports with machine-readable immigrant visas, valid passports for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with a I-94 card indicating nonimmigrant admission under a compact between the United States and the FSM and RMI. The changes for citizens of FSM and RMI eliminate the need for those individuals to obtain employment authorization documents.

4. CHANGE REGARDING THE NEW HIRE’S STATUS IN FORM I-9 SECTION 1

In Section 1 of the I-9, new hires will be required to attest to being either a citizen or noncitizen national of the U.S. Noncitizen nationals are persons born in American Samoa, certain former citizens of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and certain children of noncitizen nationals born abroad. (The previous I-9 forms combined “citizens” and “national” into one category. The revised I-9 segregates citizens from noncitizen nationals.)

5. FORM I-9 WILL BE AVAILABLE IN SPANISH BUT ONLY EMPLOYERS IN PUERTO RICO MAY USE THE SPANISH VERSION

Although employers and employees outside Puerto Rico must complete and retain only the English-language version of the I-9, all employers may use the Spanish version as a translation guide for Spanish-speaking employees. Employers in Puerto Rico have the option to complete and retain either the English or the Spanish version.

6. U.S. GOVERNMENT’S “Q&A” REGARDING THE REVISED I-9

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has published a Questions and Answers sheet regarding the revised Form I-9. To view the USCIS Q&A, please click here.