On November 7, 2007, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), released a new I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form and a “Handbook for Employers” for use in verifying employees’ employment eligibility. Employers are encouraged to begin using the revised form for new hires and for re-verification immediately; however, according to USCIS, mandatory use is not required until 30 days after the Department of Homeland Security publishes notice in the Federal Register.
Described by USCIS in its news release as “a further step in USCIS’ ongoing work toward reducing the number of documents used to confirm identity and work eligibility,” the anticipated revisions bring the Form I-9 in compliance with the requirements of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA). IIRIRA altered the number and types of documents individuals could present to employers to establish identity and work eligibility, yet employers were to comply with the law using an outdated Form I-9.
The most significant change to the I-9 Form is the elimination of five documents from “List A” of the List of Acceptable Documents. Removed from “List A” are:
- Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (N-560 or N-570)
- Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570)
- Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-515)
- Unexpired Reentry Permit (I-327)
- Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
Added to “List A” is the Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766). Another minor revision is that the “Handbook for Employers” indicates that providing the Social Security Number in Section 1 of the form is not required unless the employer participates in the E-Verify Program, USCIS’ electronic employment eligibility verification system. The revised Form I-9 and the “Handbook for Employers” is available on the USCIS Website.
The Form I-9 is available in Spanish: however, only employers in Puerto Rico may have employees complete the Spanish version for their records. All other employers within the U.S. and its territories may use the Spanish version as a translation tool for Spanish-speaking employees, but employees must complete the English version for employers’ records.
We encourage employers to begin using the new Form I-9, and to review the Handbook for Employers, which provides useful examples and information on properly completing and maintaining the form.