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FMG Law Blog Line

Changes to the Familiar Form I-9

Posted on: January 16th, 2009

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has issued an interim rule that makes changes to the Form I-9 employment verification process. The interim rule amends regulations governing the types of documents employers may accept for the I-9 Form and also creates a revised version of the I-9 Form. USCIS currently is accepting comments on the interim rule, which will go into effect on February 2, 2009. USCIS will later issue a final rule to become effective.

 Beginning February 2, 2009, however, the interim rule will become effective, meaning that the current version of the I-9 Form (dated 06/05/2007) will no longer be valid, and employers must begin using the revised Form I-9. A final version of the revised I-9 Form is not yet available, but USCIS is expected to make it available by the time the interim rule becomes effective. In the meantime, to download a copy of the interim rule and sample of the revised I-9 Form, please click here.

The following is a summary of the significant changes made by the interim rule:

  • Expired documents are no longer acceptable.
    • Under the current regulations, a U.S. Passport and all List B documents are acceptable for the I-9 Form, even if they are expired.
    • Under the interim rule, expired documents are no longer acceptable; all documents must be unexpired for use on the I-9 Form.
  • Form I-688, “Temporary Resident Card,” and Forms I-688A and I-688B, “Employment Authorization Cards,” are removed from the list of acceptable documents.
    • These documents are no longer issued, and USCIS has determined that all of these documents that were previously issued are currently expired. Therefore, the amended regulations remove these documents from the list of acceptable documents on the I-9 Form.
  • Form I-94A, “Arrival-Departure Record,” is added to the list of acceptable documents.
    • Form I-94A is now listed along with Form I-94 as an acceptable document. Form I-94A and I-94 are arrival/departure records and are nearly identical except that Form I-94A fields are computer-generated rather than being written by hand.
  • “Documentation for Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands” are added to the list of acceptable documents.
    • Most citizens of these countries are eligible for admission to the U.S. as non-immigrants, including the privilege of residing and working in the U.S., following a 2003 Compact with their countries.
    • Residents of these countries may present a valid passport and evidence of admission under the Compact to satisfy the I-9 Form requirements.
  • U.S. Nationals and U.S. citizens are now separate categories under Section 1.
    • On the current Form I-9, U.S. citizens and U.S. nationals checked the same status box.
    • The revised I-9 Form will provide a separate box for U.S. Nationals, and defines U.S. Nationals to include persons born in American Somoa, children of noncitizens born abroad, and former citizens of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

If you have any questions, please contact one of our Labor & Employment attorneys.

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