Employers Are Now Required To Use Revised Form

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has just released a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for immediate use and a new M-274, Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9.

All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. The USCIS has encouraged employers to start using the new form as soon as possible. According to the USCIS, employers that fail to use the new Form I-9 after the effective date (as established by publication in the Federal Register) may incur fines and penalties.

According to Andrew Merrills, a shareholder in Ogletree Deakins’ Raleigh office: “Updating the I-9 has been long overdue. Although an updated form is clarifying and is generally a welcome development, the Bush Administration has made it clear that, in the absence of more comprehensive immigration reform, it intends to increase enforcement. Accordingly, employers should take this opportunity to audit their existing I-9s and review their current policies and procedures.”

The basic Form I-9 remains substantially the same as earlier versions, although the form and accompanying instructions appear to be more user-friendly than prior versions. The most significant changes were made to the form instructions, including:

  • Five documents have been removed from List A of the List of Acceptable
    Documents: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561); Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570); Alien Registration Receipt Card
    (I-151); Unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327); and Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571).
  • One document was added to List A of the List of Acceptable Documents: Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766).
  • All the Employment Authorization Documents with photographs in circu-lation are now included as one item on List A: I-688, I-688A, I-688B and I-766.

According to the USCIS, the new I-9 Form (dated June 5, 2007) can and should be used immediately. The new Handbook contains updated examples of completed I-9s and updated, color copies of various acceptable documents.

Note: This article was published in the August – December 2007 “Double Issue” of The Employment Law Authority.


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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.

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