November 2007: I-9 Update


Revised I-9 Form – November 2007Download This Issue in .pdf Format

On November 7, 2007 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new Form I-9. A copy of the new form (which contains interactive form fields) is attached. Although the USCIS has stated that employers should begin to use the new form immediately, employers will not be subject to penalties for failure to use it until thirty (30) days after it is published in the Federal Register. It is recommended that the new form be used for all new hires or reverifications.

There are only a few significant changes to the I-9. First, the Form includes the changes in the List A acceptable documents that were previously instituted but not reflected on the I-9. Secondly, the instructions for the form specifically state that an employee is not required to (but may voluntarily) provide his/her social security number in Section 1 of the Form I-9 unless the employer participates in the E-Verify program. [Note: Employers who participate in this program may only accept a List B document with a photograph.] The instructions also note that the I-9 may be signed and retained electronically.

A copy of the Spanish version of the I-9 is also attached. However, only employers in Puerto Rico may use this form to meet the verification and retention requirements of the law. Other employers may use this form as a translation guide for Spanish-speaking employees but must complete the English version. Employees, of course, may also use or ask for a translator/preparer for assistance in completing the form.
USCIS has also issued a new version of the Handbook for Employers. This new version includes information about the E-Verify program and how to complete and/or retain forms electronically; It also contains sample completed forms and copies of various acceptable documents. It is highly recommended that all employees who complete I-9 forms for their employers review the information contained in the revised Handbook. The Handbook can be found at http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274.pdf

For further assistance on compliance with this or other issues, contact Jeanne Flaherty at Employer’s Legal Advisor, Inc.