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I-9 Forms Revised Again

Beginning on February 2, 2009, employers must use a new Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) for all new hires, and to reverify employees who submitted expired employment authorization documents. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") issued a new Form I-9 in 2007. That Form I-9, and prior editions of the form, are no longer valid after February 2, 2009. Employers may continue to use the 2007 edition of the I-9 form between now and February 2, 2009 for new hires. Employers do not need to use the new I-9 form for existing employees. Employers should retain the prior-completed I-9 forms for employees hired prior to February 2, 2009. The new I-9 form can be obtained HERE.

What has changed in the new I-9 form? USCIS has removed three (3) documents from List A (documents that establish both identity and employment authorization): Form I-688 Employment Authorization Document; Form I-688A Employment Authorization Document; and Form I-688B Employment Authorization Document. USCIS has added three (3) documents to List A: Temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa or foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp; a passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with a valid Form I-94 or Form I-94A; and a U.S. passport card.

Expired documents may not be used with the revised Form I-9. This includes expired U.S. passports and all List B documents used to establish identity. Only unexpired documents can be used.

In Section 1 of the revised I-9form, "citizen of the United States" and "noncitizen national of the United States" are now two separate categories. Noncitizen nationals are persons born in American Samoa, certain former citizens of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and certain children of noncitizen nationals born abroad.

There is no change in the way that employers must complete the form. Employers must use Form I-9 to verify the identity and work eligibility of all new employees at the time that they are hired. Employers must maintain completed I-9's (as a hard copy or in an electronic version) for all current employees, and for three years after a terminated employee's date of hire or for a year after the date of termination, whichever is later.

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