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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Federal Register: November 26, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 226)]
[Notices]               
[Page 65974-65980]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26no07-59]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

[CIS No. 2419-07; DHS Docket No.: USCIS-2007-0044]
RIN 1615-ZA57

 
Introduction of the Amended Form I-9 and the New Handbook for 
Employers

AGENCY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is issuing this 
Notice to introduce the newly amended Form I-9, ``Employment 
Eligibility Verification.'' Employers are required to use the Form I-9 
to verify the identity and employment authorization of newly hired 
employees. The amended Form I-9 contains an updated list of acceptable 
identity and employment authorization documents that reflect the 
current regulations. As of November 7, 2007, the amended Form I-9 is 
the only valid version of the form. The Department of Homeland Security 
will not seek penalties against an employer for using a previous 
version of the Form I-9 on or before December 26, 2007.

DATES: This Notice is effective November 26, 2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Gregory Francis, Department of 
Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 
Verification Division, 470-490 L'Enfant Plaza East, SW., Suite 8206, 
Washington, DC 20024; E-mail: employer.pilots@dhs.gov; Telephone: 1-
888-464-4218.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 
1996 (IIRIRA), Public Law 104-208, 110 Stat. 3009 (Sept. 30, 1996), 
amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to reduce the number 
of documents that an employer may accept from newly hired employees 
when verifying their identity and employment eligibility (i.e., 
authorization) as required by law. IIRIRA section 412(a) (amending INA 
sec. 274A(b)(1), 8 U.S.C. 1324a(b)(1)). On September 30, 1997, the 
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) published an interim rule, 
``Interim Designation of Acceptable Documents for Employment 
Verification,'' implementing those amendments. See 62 FR 51001. 
However, INS did not concurrently amend the Form I-9, ``Employment 
Eligibility Verification,'' that employers must use to conduct the 
required verification to reflect the changes made by the interim rule. 
As a result, the Form I-9 (Rev. 05-31-05) contained an outdated list of 
acceptable documents.
    In the supplementary information accompanying the 1997 interim 
rule, the INS stated that it planned to issue a new Form I-9 in the 
context of a broader final rulemaking. While U.S. Citizenship and 
Immigration Services (USCIS), which now maintains the Form I-9, still 
intends to pursue a broader rulemaking, given the long passage of time 
since the interim rule, allowing an outdated Form I-9 to remain in use 
has become untenable. Therefore, USCIS has amended the Form I-9 
document list to be consistent with the regulations. On November 7, 
2007, USCIS posted the amended Form I-9 on its Web site, at http://
www.uscis.gov. The amended Form I-9 has a revision date of June 5, 
2007, which is printed as ``(Rev. 06/05/07)N'' on the lower right 
corner of the form. As of November 7, 2007, this is the only valid 
version of the form.
    This Notice introduces the newly amended Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N 
and instructs employers on its use.

II. Changes to Form I-9

A. List A--Revised

    Because the 1997 interim rule was limited to Form I-9 List A 
documents, the amended Form I-9 reflects changes to the documents 
listed under List A only. List A documents are those that evidence both 
an individual's identity and employment eligibility. The amended Form 
I-9 no longer lists the following as List A documents: (1) The 
Certificate of United States Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561); (2) the 
Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570); (3) the Form I-
151, a long out-of-date version of the Alien Registration Receipt Card 
(``green card''); (4) the Unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327); and 
(5) the Unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form 1-571).
    The amended Form I-9 retains four types of acceptable List A 
documents: (1) The U.S. Passport (unexpired or expired); (2) the 
Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-
551); (3) an unexpired foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp; 
and (4) an unexpired Employment Authorization Document that contains a 
photograph (Form I-766, I-688, I-688A, I-688B). All of these acceptable 
List A documents were carried over from the previous Form I-9, with the 
exception of the Form I-766, which is a new addition to List A. The 
amended Form I-9 also modifies one acceptable List A document. The List 
A document entitled, ``unexpired foreign passport with an attached Form 
I-94 indicating unexpired employment authorization,'' has been replaced 
by ``an unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Arrival-Departure 
Record, Form I-94, bearing the same name as the passport and containing 
an endorsement of the alien's nonimmigrant status, if that status 
authorizes the alien to work for the employer.''
    USCIS also has amended the order and organization of List A to 
track the regulations more directly. For example, the various 
Employment Authorization Documents are listed together as one category, 
and the unexpired foreign passport with temporary I-551 stamp is a 
separate entry from the unexpired passport with Form I-94 indicating an 
employer-specific work-authorized nonimmigrant status.
    This updating of List A on the Form I-9 should help streamline the 
hiring process by providing employers with a better means of conforming 
their document acceptance practices with the requirements of the law. 
List A on the newly amended Form I-9 has been the regulatory List A 
since 1997, and, therefore, employers should not have been accepting 
documents not included in the regulatory list.
    Given the discrepancy between the Form I-9 and the regulations, 
however, the INS and, subsequently, the Department of Homeland Security 
(DHS) withheld enforcement of civil money penalties for violations 
associated with the changes made by the 1997 interim rule as a 
temporary transitional measure. 62 FR at 51002. With an amended Form I-
9 now available that includes the correct List A, that policy is no 
longer necessary. Therefore, DHS has determined that the non-
enforcement policy will cease as of December 26, 2007.

[[Page 65975]]

B. Other Changes

    The amended Form I-9 now instructs employees that providing their 
Social Security number in Section 1 of the form is voluntary, pursuant 
to section 7 of the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a note). However, 
employees must provide their Social Security number in section 1 of the 
form if their employer participates in E-Verify (the employment 
eligibility verification program formerly known as Basic Pilot or EEV), 
as provided by section 403(a)(1)(A) of IIRIRA. Moreover, for employees 
who present their Social Security account number card to their employer 
as evidence that they are authorized to work in the United States, the 
employer must record the Social Security Account number in section 2 of 
the Form I-9.
    The amended Form I-9 also includes various nonsubstantive changes 
to the organization and content of the form instructions to be more 
consistent with standard USCIS branding practices, such as including a 
clarification that there is no filing fee associated with the Form I-9.

III. Use of the Amended Form I-9

    As of November 7, 2007, the Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N is the only 
version of the form that is valid for use. DHS recognizes that 
employers should be afforded a period of time to transition to the 
amended Form I-9. Therefore, DHS will not seek penalties against an 
employer for using a previous version of the Form I-9 on or before 
December 26, 2007. After December 26, 2007, employers who fail to use 
Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N may be subject to all applicable penalties 
under section 274A of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. 
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
    Note that employers do not need to complete the amended Form I-9 
for current employees for whom there is already a properly completed 
Form I-9 on file. Indeed, unnecessary verification may violate the 
INA's anti-discrimination provision, section 274B of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 
1324b, which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of 
Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices. 
However, employers must use Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N for any 
reverification of employment authorization conducted on or after 
December 26, 2007. Reverification is required when the Form I-9 
indicates that the employee's work authorization will expire. To 
reverify, employers must examine acceptable Form I-9 documents 
evidencing that the employee remains authorized to work. See 8 CFR 
274a.2(b)(1)(vii).

IV. Obtaining Forms I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N

    Employers may access the amended Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N online 
at http://www.uscis.gov. In addition, a newly revised ``Handbook for 
Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9, (M-274)'' is 
available online at http://www.uscis.gov. Because of its length, the 
revised M-274 will not be reprinted in the Federal Register. To order 
USCIS forms, call our toll-free number at 1-800-870-3676. The public 
can get USCIS forms and information on immigration laws, regulations 
and procedures by telephoning our National Customer Service Center at 
1-800-375-5283.
    A Spanish-language version of the amended Form I-9 is available at 
http://www.uscis.gov for use in Puerto Rico only. The Spanish-language 
Form I-9 (Rev. 06/05/07)N is valid as of November 7, 2007. This updated 
Spanish-language version of the Form I-9 supersedes all previous 
versions. Employers in Puerto Rico who continue to use previous 
editions of the Form I-9 in English or Spanish after December 26, 2007 
may be subject to fines and penalties.

    Dated: November 16, 2007.
Emilio T. Gonzalez,
Director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

    Note: The Form I-9 is provided as an attachment to this notice.

BILLING CODE 4410-10-P

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[[Page 65980]]


[FR Doc. 07-5790 Filed 11-20-07; 12:29 pm]
BILLING CODE 4410-10-C




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