Barran Liebman LLP
Unless another last-minute change is announced, employers must begin using the revised Form I-9 effective this Friday, April 3, 2009, for new hires and reverifications when an employee’s employment authorization has expired. Pursuant to amendments to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations, employers should note the following important changes which are reflected in the revised Form I-9:
• Documents presented during the eligibility verification process cannot be expired. If a document does not contain an expiration date, such as a Social Security card, it will be considered unexpired.
• Employers may only accept documents specified on the List of Acceptable Documents to evidence identity and employment authorization. DHS has added new documents to the list, including the Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766), and eliminated other documents from the list, including the Temporary Resident Card (Form I-688) and the Employment Authorization Cards (Forms I-688A and B).
• When an employee must be reverified because his or her employment authorization has expired, employers must use the revised Form I-9 and require documentation in accordance with the revised List of Acceptable Documents. An employer may not re-verify the employee by completing Section 3, Updating and Reverification, of the previous version of the Form I-9.
• The Form I-9 is available in English and Spanish, but only employers in Puerto Rico may have employees complete the Spanish version for their records. Employers in the fifty states may use the Spanish version only as a translation guide for Spanish-speaking employees from which employers must complete the English version and keep it in their records. Employees may also use or ask for a translator to assist them in completing the form.
• Employers may sign and retain Forms I-9 electronically.
Employers who continue to use the old form on or after April 3, 2009, may be subject to civil penalties. The revised Form I-9 (Rev. 02/02/09) can be accessed through the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/I-9_IFR_02-02-09.pdf
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