USCIS Plans Revisions to Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Form 1-9

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it is planning revisions to Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. This is one of the most well-known immigration forms, used by employers to confirm a new employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. The proposed revisions will allow for collection of additional data and provide additional instructions.

According to USCIS’s online I-9 guide, all employers must keep I-9 forms for every employee who receives pay or benefits as compensation. This applies to all employees hired after November 6, 1986, regardless of the employee’s citizenship or immigration status. It does not apply to independent contractors or people employed by contractors, nor does it apply to people who are physically outside the United States when working.

On the current I-9 form, employees must provide their full legal name, their maiden name if applicable, their current address, their date of birth, and their citizenship or immigration status. If applicable, employees must provide their alien registration or admission number and the expiration date of their employment authorization. Employees may optionally provide their social security number, although it may be required if the employer uses E-Verify. They must sign and date the form and submit it to the employer on or before the date they begin employment.

Once they receive the form from the employee, the employer has three days to complete and sign the second section of the I-9 form. The employer must note the date that the employee begins work and the date the employer reviews the employee’s documentation. The employer must obtain one or two forms of documentation from the employee from an approved list. A copy of this documentation is retained with the I-9 form. If an employee submits a “List A” document, no further documentation is needed. These are documents that establish both the employee’s identity and eligibility for employment, and they include a U.S. passport, a permanent resident card, a foreign passport with proper arrival documentation, or a work authorization card.

Alternatively, employees can submit a document from “List B” and one from “List C.” List B documentation establishes identity, such as a driver’s license or other government issued ID card. List C documents establish work authorization, such as a Social Security card or birth certificate.

Employers must reverify employees if their work authorization expires, as indicated on documentation submitted by the employee. They must also reverify an employee if that employee is hired back within three years of the original date the I-9 form was completed, or if the employee has a name change.

USCIS’s proposed revisions to the I-9 form would include additional instructions and alter the layout of the form to add new fields. The new form would include space to optionally collect employees’ e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. It would also include space to collect employees’ foreign passport numbers, as well as the name of the issuing country. This last change would only apply, according to USCIS, to employees with work authorization who are using their I-94 as part of their identification. The Form I-94 is the arrival/departure record for people entering the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas.

The United States immigration system is often complicated and confusing. For a free and confidential consultation with a skilled and experienced Ohio immigration visa lawyer, contact Gus Shihab online or at (800) 625-3404 today.

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USCIS’s “Self Check” Program Will Soon Go Nationwide, Immigration Visa Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2011
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Design Changes, Meant to Improve Security and Fight Fraud, are Coming for Employment and Citizenship Forms, Immigration Visa Lawyer Blog, November 2, 2011
Photo credit: Form I-9, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services [Public domain]