When a new employee starts, there’s normally enough paperwork to fill a room.  One of those forms is the I-9 form issued by the UMorgue File - Public Domainnited States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly INS.  What does the I-9 form check? It checks the new hire’s employment eligibility — in other words, is the person legally allowed to work in the United States. 

Late last week, USCIS updated the form, which applies to both Connecticut and national employers, for the first time in a while.  In addition, it updated the companion handbook for employers, which includes instructions on how to complete the form.  You can download the form here.  The documents are also available on the USCIS’s website and additional information is available for employers here

When do employers need to use this new form?

USCIS urges employers to begin using these new forms immediately; however, USCIS has also indicated that employers can use the old form I-9 until December 7, 2007.  Certainly, it appears that employers should considering using the new form as soon as possible, and no later than December 7, 2007. 

What changes does the form make?  There are several, but here are a few noteworthy ones as noted by the Pennsylvania Employment Law Blog

  • Five documents have been removed from List A of the List of Acceptable Documents:
    • 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)
  • One document was added to List A of the List of Acceptable Documents:
    • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766)
  • Instructions regarding Section 1 of the Form I-9 now indicate that the employee is not obliged to provide his or her Social Security number in Section 1 of the Form I-9, unless he or she is employed by an employer who participates in E-Verify.
  • Employers may now sign and retain Forms I-9 electronically.

The changes to this form may not be the most exciting development in employment law, but considering that every new hire must fill one out, it is important for employers to understand them. Even more important, employer should start using this new form and make sure that the form is filled out correctly.

(H.T. Ohio Employer’s Law Blog)

UPDATE: The new forms go into effect December 26, 2007.