USCIS Revises Form I-9

December 15th, 2008

On December 12, 2008, USCIS announced that it had submitted interim final rules to the Federal Register to streamline Form I-9.  USCIS’s announcement states that the rule narrows the list of acceptable identity documents and excludes expired documents as acceptable forms of identification. USCIS’s reasoning is that a broader “document list makes it more difficult for employers to verify valid and acceptable forms and single out false documents compromising the effectiveness and security of the Form I-9 process.”

In particular, the rule eliminates Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and older versions of the Employment Authorization Card/Document) from List A. These cards are no longer issued and any such cards would have expired by now.  A variety of other miscellaneous changes are also made by the rule. Employers must complete Form I-9 for all new hires to verify their identity and work authorization.  There are three lists of documents:  List A are identity and work authorization documents; List B are only identity documents and List C are only work authorization documents.

USCIS concludes with the following instructions:

“Employers must use the revised Form I-9 for all new hires and to reverify any employee with expiring employment authorization beginning 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. The interim final rule is available at www.uscis.gov and was submitted to the Federal Register on Dec. 11, 2008. The Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) will be updated to reflect these changes and will be available on the USCIS website in the near future. The current version of the Form I-9 (dated 06/05/2007) will no longer be valid as of 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. The interim final rule and an informational copy of the revised Form I-9 will be available for public comment at www.regulations.gov for 45 days after publication in the Federal Register