New I-9 Form, E-Verify And New H-1B Petition Filing Period Top The List

2009 clearly appears to be a year of change, and employers will need to be especially mindful of immigration compliance changes, including a new I-9 form and the new regulation requiring federal contractors to use E-Verify (which are summarized below). In addition, the filing deadline for new H-1B petitions is approaching.

New I-9 Form
Employers will be required to begin using a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) on February 2, 2009. The new Form I-9 will be the only version of the form employers can use to satisfy the Employment Eligibility Verification process. The new form and instructions can be found at

Federal Contractor E-Verify
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently announced that the implementation of the regulation requiring certain federal contractors to use E-Verify will be postponed from January 15 to February 20, 2009. E-Verify is the Internet-based system operated by DHS in cooperation with the Social Security Administration that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment authorization of newly-hired employees. The final regulation requires certain federal contractors to use E-Verify for new hires and to reverify existing employees working on covered contracts.

The announcement comes amidst a legal challenge to the validity of the regulation. In December, a coalition of business groups filed a lawsuit alleging that the federal government lacked the authority to issue the regulation because the Congressional legislation authorizing E-Verify makes clear that participation in the system is voluntary. The delay in implementation provides both sides in the lawsuit an opportunity to make their initial case before a judge and, potentially, time for the new Obama Administration to reconsider the regulation.

New H-1B Petitions
The filing period for “new” H-1B petitions to be counted against the annual H-1B quota (the “H-1B cap”) begins on March 31, 2009. Persons currently employed as F-1 students or J-1 trainees and persons outside of the U.S. commonly require new, cap-subject H-1Bs. March 31 is the initial filing date for petitions seeking H-1B status with an effective date of October 1, 2009. Due to the annual numerical limitations, it is important that employers file all new H-1B petitions on March 31.

Note: This article was published in the January/February 2009 issue of The Employment Law Authority.


Browse More Insights

Close up of american visa label in passport. SHallow depth of field.
Practice Group


Ogletree Deakins has one of the largest business immigration practices in the United States and provides a wide range of legal services for employers seeking temporary business visas and permanent residence on behalf of foreign national employees.

Learn more

Sign up to receive emails about new developments and upcoming programs.

Sign Up Now