April 3, 2009
A new Form I-9 (version 4/3/09) must now be used. This library document is kept for archival purposes only.




U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (dated 06/05/07), and M-274, Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (dated 11/01/2007).  Employers must begin using these forms now.


Transition

Text from Federal Register notice 72 Fed. Reg. 65974 (November 26, 2007):

As of November 7, 2007, the Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N is the only version of the form that is valid for use. DHS recognizes that employers should be afforded a period of time to transition to the amended Form I-9. Therefore, DHS will not seek penalties against an employer for using a previous version of the Form I-9 on or before December 26, 2007. After December 26, 2007, employers who fail to use Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Note that employers do not need to complete the amended Form I-9 for current employees for whom there is already a properly completed Form I-9 on file. Indeed, unnecessary verification may violate the INA's anti-discrimination provision, section 274B of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324b, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. However, employers must use Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N for any reverification of employment authorization conducted on or after December 26, 2007. Reverification is required when the Form I-9 indicates that the employee's work authorization will expire. To reverify, employers must examine acceptable Form I-9 documents evidencing that the employee remains authorized to work. See 8 CFR 274a.2(b)(1)(vii).

Note that the face of the new form (page 1) looks exactly like the old form I-9, but for the version date and for a few other minor formatting changes. What has substantively changed is List A in the Lists of Acceptable Documents on page 2 of the I-9. List A specifies the kinds of documents that can be used to show both identity and employment eligibility. The new List A finally brings the Form I-9 into conformity with statutory and regulatory changes that were made in 1996 and 1997. Employers should no longer rely on the List A that appears in prior versions of Form I-9.


Background from USCIS's I-9 Fact Sheet

Download the Fact Sheet (50kb Icon PDF 16)

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) mandated a reduction in the number of documents that employers may accept from newly hired employees during the employment eligibility verification process. In 1997, the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) published an interim final rule in the Federal Register eliminating some of the documents IIRIRA slated for removal. However, Form I-9 was not updated to reflect the revised List of Acceptable Documents at that time. USCIS has revised Form I-9 to bring it into compliance with the 1997 regulation as a first step toward achieving the document reduction goals set out in IIRIRA and as a further step in its ongoing work toward reducing the number of documents used to confirm identity and work eligibility. The most significant change to the revised Form I-9 is the elimination of five documents from List A of the List of Acceptable Documents. This and other minor revisions are detailed below.

Five documents have been removed from List A of the List of Acceptable Documents:

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151)
  • Unnexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327)
  • Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)

One document was added to List A of the List of Acceptable Documents:

  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766)

All the Employment Authorization Documents with photographs that are in circulation are now included as one item on List A:

  • I-688, I-688A, I-688B, I-766

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 of Form I-9, unless he or she is employed by an employer who participates in E-Verify. The section on Photocopying and Retaining Form I-9 now includes information about electronically signing and retaining I-9 forms.