U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new edition of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new form will take effect on February 2, 2009 and should not be used before that date. Until February 2, employers should continue to use the June 5, 2007 edition of the form. Both editions of the form are available at http://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
Revised Document List
The I-9 form was changed to reflect new employment eligibility verification requirements set forth in a recent regulation that will also take effect on February 2. The regulation revises the list of documents that employers may accept to establish a worker’s identity and employment authorization, known as List A documents. The following documents have been added to List A on the new edition of Form I-9:
Foreign passports containing the I-551 permanent residence notation printed on a machine-readable immigrant visa. Previously, List A included only the I-551 passport stamp and I-551 permanent resident card.
The new U.S. Passport Card, which USCIS earlier announced was an acceptable document for I-9 purposes.
Passports and certain other documents for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. Eliminated from List A are several now-obsolete employment authorization documents, Forms I-688, I-688A and I-688B, which have all expired. Form I-766, the current version of the employment authorization document, remains on List A.
In addition, once the regulation takes effect, expired documents will no longer be acceptable for I-9 purposes. Only unexpired documents or documents without an expiration date (such as a Social Security card) will be acceptable.
New Status Selection for U.S. Nationals
The new edition of Form I-9 makes some changes to the part of the form in which new hires attest to their status.
In Section I of the form, an individual must indicate whether he or she is a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident or a foreign national authorized to work in the United States. The new form creates a separate selection for non-citizen nationals of the United States. Previously, the form contained a single, combined selection that was chosen by workers who were either U.S. citizens or non-citizen nationals.
Non-citizen nationals of the United States are individuals who were born in American Samoa, certain residents of the Northern Mariana Islands who have not become U.S. citizens, and certain individuals who were born abroad to non-citizen U.S. nationals. Though U.S. nationals do not possess full U.S. citizenship, they are not aliens; they may enter and work in the United States without restriction. These individuals should check the new selection for non-citizen nationals when completing Form I-9.