Immigration and Nationality Law
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New Form I9 Now In Effect

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently issued a
new Form I9, which has now replaced all previous versions of the form. 

The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA) amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to reduce the number of documents that an employer may accept from newly hired workers when verifying their identity and employment eligibility.  The USCIS issued an interim rule to implement these legislative changes, and has now has issued a
new Form I9 with a revised document list consistent with the interim rule. 

The changes to the
Form I9 include changes to List A documents, those that evidence both an individual’s identity and employment eligibility.  The following documents are no longer included on the list:

     1.     Certificate of United States Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
     2.     Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or Form N-570)
     3.     Form I-151, out of datedAlien Registration Receipt Card (green card)
     4.     Unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327)
     5.     Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)

There are
2 modifications to existing List A documentsFirst, added to the unexpired Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph is the Form I-766 (in addition to the already existing I-688, I-688A and I-688B).  Second, the “unexpired foreign passport with an attached Form I-94 indicating unexpired employment authorization” has been replaced with “an unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, bearing the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of the alien’s nonimmigrant status, if that status authorizes the alien to work for the employer.”

These changes to the List A documents have been in place since the issuance of the USCIS’s interim rule.  However, because the
Form I9 was not amended to reflect these changes, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) withheld enforcement of civil monetary penalties for violating the interim rule.  Now that the USCIS has incorporated these changes to the new Form I9, the only Form I9 that is acceptable for used by employer is this new form, which has the edition date of 06/05/07As of December 26, 2007, employers that use previous editions will be subject to penalties.

Another change to the
Form I9 is that employees are now instructed that providing their social security number in Section 1 is voluntary.  However, if the employer participates in E-Verify, employees must provide their social security numbers in Section 1.

You can download the
new Form I9 as well as the new Handbook for Employers (M-274) from the USCIS web site.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation to discuss ways our firm may assist you in complying with the immigration regulations concerning employment eligibility verification, please contact us.
**Increased Fines Effective March 27, 2008**
**New "List A" Document**