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Employment Law Blog

Thursday, April 14, 2011

USCIS Issues Final Rule on Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today a final rule, scheduled to be published in tomorrow’s Federal Register, that adopts, without change, an interim rule to improve the integrity of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process.

The key changes made to the Form I-9 process by the interim rule and adopted by the final rule include:  prohibiting employers from accepting expired documents for completion of Form I-9 and adding and modifying several documents on the Lists of Acceptable Documents.  The final rule will be effective on May 16, 2011.  Employers may continue to use the current version of the Form I-9 (Rev. 08/07/2009), or the previous version (Rev. 02/02/2009).

USCIS Published the following FAQs along with its press release:

Questions and Answers

Q.  What does the final rule accomplish?
A. The final rule adopts, without change, the changes made to the Form I-9 process by the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) interim final rule that has been in effect since April 3, 2009. The changes further DHS’s ongoing effort to increase the integrity of the employment authorization verification process. The key changes include:

- Prohibiting employers from accepting expired documents
- Eliminating from List A identity and employment authorization documentation Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and outdated - Employment Authorization Cards)
- Adding to List A foreign passports containing temporary I-551 printed notations on certain machine-readable immigrant visas
- Adding to List A as evidence of identity and employment authorization valid passports for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), along with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI

Q.  Why can’t I present an expired document?

A.  DHS wants to ensure that documents presented for use in the Form I-9 process are valid and reliably establish both identity and employment authorization. Expired documents are prone to tampering and fraudulent use. The requirement to present only unexpired documents takes into account the time limits placed on these documents by their issuing authorities. If a document does not contain an expiration date, as is often the case with a Social Security card, it is considered unexpired.

Q:  Does this final rule make any changes to how Form I-9 is completed?

A:  No. The final rule adopts, without change, the interim final rule published on December 17, 2008 and in effect since April 3, 2009. It does not make any changes to how the Form I-9 is currently completed.

Q:  Is USCIS issuing a new Form I-9 with this final rule?

A:  No. Because the final rule adopts the interim rule without change, USCIS is not issuing a new
Form I-9 with this rule.

Q:  Which versions of Form I-9 may I use?

A:  Employers may continue to use either the current version of Form I-9 (Rev. 08/07/2009) or the previous version (Rev. 02/02/2009).  These dates are located on the bottom right-hand corner of the form.

For more information, follow this link.

Submitted by:
Christopher W. Olmsted, Esq.
Barker Olmsted & Barnier, APLC

Posted by Christopher W. Olmsted on 04/14 at 03:24 PM
Employment Law