Employers will be required to begin using a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) on February 2. 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 is now available on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. Aside from using the new form itself, the most important changes announced by USCIS are:
- The new I-9 must not only be used for new hires but also for all reverifications that might be required for existing employees. Employers will no longer be allowed to use Section 3 – Updating and Reverification of the current version of the form to reverify affected employees as of February 2.
- All documents presented, either by new hires or reverified employees, must be valid and unexpired. Previously, employers could accept certain expired documents to establish identity, such as expired drivers’ licenses (under List B) and U.S. passports (under List A).
- Form I-766 will be the only Employment Authorization Document (EAD) acceptable as a List A document. The other EADs are no longer issued by the federal government and therefore are no longer acceptable.
- 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”).
- USCIS will be updating the Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) and will post the revised version on the agency’s website.
For more information on the new requirements, see the USCIS press release.
Note: This article was published in the January 2009 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.