UPDATE 2/2/09 – On late Friday, January 30th — after this post had been published — USCIS announced that it was delaying implementation of the rule by at least 60 days (or April 3, 2009). See new post here. 

As if human resources professionals didn’t have enough on their plate this month (with changes to the ADA and FMLA), Groundhog Day will bring about another change. Although I’ve covered it before, it is important for employers to understand because it will affect employers of all sizes, regardless of whether they are in Connecticut or beyond.  

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has revised the I-9 Forms and modified the list of documents that are acceptable to prove identification.  The form should be used starting February 2, 2009 for all new hires and can be downloaded here.  Employers will have to use the revised Form I-9 for all new hires and to re-verify any employee with expiring employment authorization.

CIS’s website summarizes the changes to the acceptable documents list here:

The interim final rule narrows the list of acceptable identity documents and further specifies that expired documents are not considered acceptable forms of identification. An expansive document list makes it more difficult for employers to verify valid and acceptable forms and single out false documents compromising the effectiveness and security of the Form I-9 process. The changes included in the interim final rule will significantly improve the security of the employment eligibility verification process.

Employers must complete a Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. The list of approved documents that employees can present to verify their identity and employment authorization is divided into three sections: List A documents verify identity and employment authorization, List B documents verify identity only, and List C documents verify employment authorization only.

The rule eliminates Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and older versions of the Employment Authorization Card/Document) from List A. USCIS no longer issues these cards, and all that were in circulation have expired. The rule also adds to List A of the Form I-9 foreign passports containing specially-marked machine-readable visas and documentation for certain citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). The rule makes other, technical changes to update the list of acceptable documents. The revised Form I-9 includes additional changes, such as revisions to the employee attestation section, and the addition of the new U.S. Passport Card to List A.  

Various other blogs have summarized these changes as well, including the Pennsylvania Labor & Employment Blog, World of Work, and The Word on Employment Law

Until February 2nd, employers can continue to use the current I-9 forms.