Q. I recently heard that employers are now required to use a new I-9 form for new employees. Is this true?
A. Yes. Employers were required to begin using a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) effective April 3, 2009. The new form was originally scheduled to go into effect on Feb. 2, but U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) delayed implementation until April 3.
The new Form I-9 is dated 02/02/2009 on the lower right 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 current. Previously, employers could accept certain expired documents, such as expired driver’s 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 List A documents 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. The federal government no longer issues those three documents, so therefore they’re 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 applies only 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”).
A copy of the new Form I-9 can be found at www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9_IFR_02-02-09.pdf. In addition, the Handbook for Employers can be found at www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274_3apr09.pdf.