Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Changes Again

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US Immigration Logo

For the second time in a little over a year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a revised Form I-9 to be used by employers to verify an employee’s authorization to work in the United States.  Effective February 2, 2009, employers will have to complete the updated Form I-9 for all new hires and for re-verification of certain employees with temporary work authorization.  Among other minor technical changes, the new Form I-9 again changes the types of documents that employers may accept to prove an employee’s authorization to work:

  • Temporary Resident Card (Form I-688) and Employment Authorization Cards (Forms I-688A and 1-688B) are no longer valid to establish both identity and employment authorization.
  • Acceptable List A documents now include foreign passports containing certain machine-readable immigrant visas, as well as passports from the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (but only if presented with an I-94 or an I-94A) and the new U.S. Passport Card.
  • All documents presented during the verification process must now be unexpired.  Previously, certain expired documents, such as U.S. passports, were acceptable.

The new Form I-9, as well as the list of what documents are acceptable, will be available commencing on February 2, 2009 on the USCIS website at: www.uscis.gov/i-9.  Employers are strongly encouraged to begin using the revised Form I-9 as of February 2nd since non-compliant employers may be fined or penalized for not using the new Form I-9.

The new Form I-9 does not need to be completed for existing employees.  It must only be used for new hires and for re-verification of employees upon the expiration of their current authorization.  If you have any questions about this article or the revised Form I-9 requirements, please contact E. Jason Tremblay at Arnstein & Lehr LLP or your usual Arnstein & Lehr LLP attorney.

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