Employers must begin using a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) effective today, April 3, 2009. The new form was originally scheduled to be required on February 2, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) delayed implementation until April 3. The new Form I-9, which can be found on the agency’s website, is dated 02/02/2009 on the lower right hand corner. USCIS also released a new Handbook for Employers that has been modified to reflect changes made to the new Form I-9 and corresponding regulations.

Among the most important changes to the I-9 process are:

  • All documents presented, either by new hires or reverified employees, must be  unexpired. Previously, employers could accept certain expired documents, such as expired drivers’ licenses to establish identity (under List B) and U.S. passports (under List A.);
  • Employers can no longer use Section 3 – Updating and Reverification – on prior versions of the Form I-9 to reverify affected employees. Thus, the new Form I-9 must be used for new hires AND for all reverifications that might be required for existing employees;
  • U.S. passport cards are now acceptable as a List A document for I-9 purposes;
  • Form I-766 will be the only Employment Authorization Document (EAD) acceptable as a List A document. Removed from the acceptable documents on List A are: Form I-688, Temporary Resident Card; Form I-688A, Employment Authorization Card; and Form I-688B, Employment Authorization Card. These three documents are no longer issued by the federal government and therefore are no longer acceptable; and
  • Foreign passports containing certain machine-readable immigrant visas have been added to List A. Note that this provision should have very limited applicability as it only applies to certain immigrant visas containing a temporary I-551 notation, which is interim evidence of an individual having received permanent resident status (a “green card”).

Additional Information

Should you have any questions about the new Form I-9, contact the Ogletree Deakins attorney with whom you normally work, a member of the firm’s Immigration Practice Group, or the Client Services Department at 866-287-2576 or via e-mail at clientservices@ogletreedeakins.com.

Note: This article was published in the April 3, 2009 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.

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