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DHS Has Issued A New Form I-9

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a bureau of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), issued a revised Form I-9 and Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 on November 7, 2007. USCIS issued the new Form I-9 to comply with the document reduction mandate Congress included in the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

The New Form I-9 Is Already The Only Acceptable Version

DHS has stated that the new Form I-9 (with a revision date of June 5, 2007) is the only version of the form that is valid for use in the initial verification of a new hire. (Note that employers also must use the new Form I-9 when it is appropriate to re-verifying an employee’s work authorization.) The revision date is printed on the lower right corner of the form and states "(Rev. 06/05/07)N".

ICE Will Not Enforce Use Of The New Version Until 30 Days Following The Publication Of Notice In The Federal Register

Given the practical problems of immediately switching to the new version of Form I-9, DHS has provided employers with a 30 day grace period to make the transition. This 30 day period begins to run once DHS publishes a Notice in the Federal Register. After the transition period, however, employers who fail to use the new Form I-9 may be subject to all applicable penalties, as enforced by DHS’s bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

DHS Has Made A Number Of Changes To Form I-9

While an employer should complete the updated form in the same manner as the old one, USCIS has changed the documents that are acceptable in the employment verification process. Indeed, the most significant change to the revised Form I-9 is the elimination of five documents from List A of the List of Acceptable Documents. The following documents are no longer acceptable:

  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-151)
  • Unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327)
  • Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571)

Employers must no longer accept these documents, but may now accept an Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766).

DHS has also altered the rules for completing Section 1. The new Form I-9 instructions provide that the employee is not obliged to provide the Social Security Number in Section 1 of Form I-9, unless he or she is employed by an employer who participates in E-Verify.

While A Spanish Language Version Of The New Form I-9 Is Available, Employers In Kentucky Must Complete And Retain The English Version

Another significant change is that the Form I-9 is now available in English and Spanish. Although only employers in Puerto Rico may have employees complete the Spanish version for their records, employers in the 50 states and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version as a translation guide for Spanish-speaking employees. Employers may, of course, also use or ask for a translator/preparer to assist them in completing the form. Kentucky employers must, however, retain the completed English versions for their records.

How To Obtain Copies Of The New Form I-9

The new Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N and the Employer Handbook (M-274) may be downloaded in pdf format from Employers also may obtain the forms by calling 1-800-870-3676. Individuals can also request USCIS forms and information on immigration laws, regulations, and procedures by calling the National Customer Service Center toll-free at 1-800-375-5283.


Employers should start using the new Form I-9 as soon as possible. It is also advisable to retain a Spanish language copy of the new form even if your workforce is not predominantly Spanish speaking. The new Form I-9, like most things, is more complex than discussed above. For more information please contact a member of Greenebaum's Labor and Employment Team.



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