Revised Form I-9

March 25, 2009

U. S. immigration law requires that all employees provide documentation establishing their identity and eligibility to work in the United States within the first three days of their employment. This is accomplished by the employee and the employer completing the Form I-9.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that a revised Form I-9 will become effective April 3, 2009. This updated form was originally to have been effective in February, but was delayed for implementation until April. The revised form reflects changes made to the 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 efforts to increase the security of the employment authorization process. The new rule:

Requires that all documents presented during the verification process be unexpired
Eliminates from List A- Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and outdated Employment Authorization Cards)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- 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

The most significant change to the Form I-9 is the requirement that all documents presented during the Form I-9 completion process be current. According to the USCIS, expired documents are prone to fraudulent use in the Form I-9 process by aliens seeking unauthorized employment. Also, requiring unexpired credentials reinforces the limits placed on the documents by the issuing authorities and increases the likelihood that such documents will contain up-to-date security features that will make them less vulnerable to counterfeiting.

The revised form should be used for new employees, beginning April 3, 2009. It is not necessary to complete the revised form for existing employees; however, the revised form should be used in the event reverification is required at a later date.

The revised form should be completed exactly the same way as the old one. Employers just need to be mindful of the changes to the types of documents that they may accept in Section 2 of the form. The revised form is available for purchase here.