USCIS Revises Employment Verification Forms – Publishes New I-9 Rules
NOTE: New I-9 form should be available beginning February 1st 2009 on the USCIS website. A draft copy of the form is available here but cannot be used. Scroll to the bottom of the document after clicking on the link to see the sample I-9.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has submitted to the Federal Register an interim final rule that will streamline the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process.
The interim final rule narrows the list of acceptable identity documents and further specifies that expired documents are not considered acceptable forms of identification. An expansive document list makes it more difficult for employers to verify valid and acceptable forms and single out false documents compromising the effectiveness and security of the Form I-9 process. The changes included in the interim final rule will significantly improve the security of the employment eligibility verification process.
Employers must complete a Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. The list of approved documents that employees can present to verify their identity and employment authorization is divided into three sections: List A documents verify identity and employment authorization, List B documents verify identity only, and List C documents verify employment authorization only.
The rule eliminates Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and older versions of the Employment Authorization Card/Document) from List A. USCIS no longer issues these cards, and all that were in circulation have expired. The rule also adds to List A of the Form I-9 foreign passports containing specially-marked machine-readable visas and documentation for certain citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The rule makes other, technical changes to update the list of acceptable documents. The revised Form I-9 includes additional changes, such as revisions to the employee attestation section, and the addition of the new U.S. Passport Card to List A.
Employers must use the revised Form I-9 for all new hires and to reverify any employee with expiring employment authorization beginning 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. The interim final rule is available in the Related Links section of this page and was submitted to the Federal Register on Dec. 11, 2008. The Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) will be updated to reflect these changes and will be available on the USCIS website in the near future. The current version of the Form I-9 (dated 06/05/2007) will no longer be valid as of 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
The interim final rule and an informational copy of the revised Form I-9 will be available for public comment at www.regulations.gov for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Q & A released by the agency
Q. Why is a revised Form I-9 being released?
A. The revised Form I-9 reflects changes made to the list of documents acceptable for the Form I-9 in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) recent interim final rule. The rule furthers DHS’s ongoing effort to increase the security of the employment authorization verification process. The new rule:
- Requires that all documents presented during the verification process be unexpired;
- Eliminates List A identity and employment authorization documentation Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and outdated Employment Authorization Cards);
- Adds foreign passports containing certain machine-readable immigrant visas to List A;
- Adds to List A as evidence of identity and employment authorization valid passports for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), along with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI ; and
- Makes technical updates.
Q: What is the difference between the revised Form I-9 and the old one?
A: The biggest difference in the revised Form I-9 is that all documents presented during the verification process must be unexpired. Other than several technical updates, the following documents have been added or removed:
Two documents have been added to List A (Documents that Establish Both Identity and Employment Authorization) on the List of Acceptable Documents :
- A temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa in addition to the foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp; and
- A passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with a valid Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.
Copy of the Final Rule (Takes a while to download)