Effective April 3, 2009, employers had to begin using the newly issued Form I-9 and List of Acceptable Documents from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

The most notable changes to the I-9 form are:

  • There are four categories, rather than three, in the attestation box of Section 1. The boxes divide citizen and noncitizen national into separate categories. Additionally, the "alien authorized to work" box requires the Alien or Admission number on the first line and expiration date (if applicable) on the second line, rather than the expiration date before Alien or Admission number as with previous versions of the I-9.

  • All documents presented by employees to verify identity and employment eligibility must be current. For example, employers can no longer accept an expired U.S. Passport or an expired driver license.

  • Three documents from List A on the List of Acceptable Documents have been eliminated: Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B. This is mostly an administrative change because these documents are no longer issued and have now expired.

  • Two documents have been added to List A on the List of Acceptable Documents. They are:
    • a temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
    • a passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with a valid Form I-94 or I-94A.

    Effective April 3, 2009, employers had to begin using the new I-9 and accept only unexpired documents on the revised List of Acceptable Documents. Further, if an employee’s work authorization requires re-verification, the employer must use the new I-9 form with the revised List of Acceptable Documents. Failure to use the new I-9 form could result in civil monetary penalties. Companies should update new hire packets to include the new I-9 Form and List of Acceptable Documents.

    Follow the links below to access the new forms.

    Please note that the Spanish version of the I-9 form can be completed only by employers and employees in Puerto Rico. USCIS permits companies in the United States to utilize the Spanish version as a reference tool to assist Spanish-speaking employees with the completion of the English version of the Form I-9.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently increased I-9 audits and there are many proactive steps a company can take prior to an ICE I-9 audit or raid. Companies should evaluate and implement effective I-9 and immigration compliance strategies, including internal I-9 audits, responding to Social Security Administration (SSA) no-match letters, responding to government inquiries about identity discrepancies, using the W-9 form, completing supervisory training regarding immigration compliance, updating handbooks and policies, and properly complying with E-Verify for those companies utilizing the E-Verify program.

    Copyright © 2009 by Ballard Spahr LLP.
    (No claim to original U.S. government material.)

    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author and publisher.

    This newsletter is a periodic publication of Ballard Spahr LLP and is intended to alert the recipients to new developments in the law. It should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer concerning your situation and specific legal questions you have.