U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) is available for use. The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires all U.S. employers to verify the employment eligibility and identity of all employees hired to work in the U.S. after November 6, 1986, by completing a Form I-9. Employers are required to retain I-9s for each employee for three years after the employee's date of hire, or one year after the date that employment is terminated, whichever is later. Employers are permitted to retain the I-9 in paper, microfilm, microfiche, or electronic format. In order to properly complete Form I-9, employees must provide, and employers must personally inspect, original documents that attest to the employee's identity and his or her authorization to work in the U.S.
Q: What is the difference between the revised Form I-9 and the prior version?
The primary change to the new form is the removal of five documents from List A for proof of both identity and employment eligibility. They include: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-570); Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570); Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151); the unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327); and the unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571). The forms were removed because they lack features to help deter counterfeiting, tampering and fraud.
Additionally, the most recent version of the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) was added to List A as acceptable proof of both identity and employment eligibility.
Instructions regarding Section 1 of Form I-9 now indicate that the employee is not obliged to provide the Social Security Number in Section 1, unless he or she is employed by an employer who participates in E-Verify, DHS' Internet-based employment eligibility verification system.
Q: Are there any changes in the way the new Form I-9 is completed?
No. The new Form I-9 should be completed exactly the same way as the old one was.
Q: Where can I get the new Form I-9?
The new Form I-9 can be found on the USCIS website at www.uscis.gov or from our website. USCIS has also released a new "Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9," which is also available for download on the USCIS website or from our website. The new Form I-9 is dated June 5, 2007.
Q: Must I begin to use the new Form I-9 immediately?
Although use of the new form will not be required until the notice is published in the Federal Register, we encourage employers to start using the new form immediately. Once the notice is published, employers may incur fines and penalties for failing to use the new Form I-9.
We continue to monitor the status of employment eligibility verification requirements and will update you with the latest developments. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have regarding the new Form I-9 or about the I-9 process in general.