Employment and Immigration Law Action Alert: USCIS Announces Changes to Mandatory I-9 and M-274 Forms

November 1, 2007

On November 7, 2007, US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) reported that it has made significant changes to the mandatory I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form, as well as to the M-274, Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9.  The new form includes modifications that better reflect recent changes to employment eligibility verification requirements.  Presently, USCIS encourages the use of the new form, but indicates that the new form will not be required until notice is published in the Federal Register, which may occur as early as the week of November 12, 2007.

The new I-9 form removes five and adds one document to List A – those documents which prove both identity and employment eligibility. The documents removed are:

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

The forms were removed because of concerns that they lack anti-fraud, anti-tampering, and anti- counterfeiting features.

The one document added to List A is the most recent version of the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766).

Finally, the new Form I-9 does not obligate the employee to provide the Social Security Number at Section 1, unless the employer participates in E-Verify.

Employers are required to complete the new version of Form I-9 for new employees only. Employers do not need to complete the new form for existing employees for whom an earlier Form I-9 has been completed. However, when re-verification of an employee’s information is necessary, employers should ensure they use the new form.

Both the new Form I-9 and the M274 Handbook are available online at www.uscis.gov/I-9 or they may be ordered by calling toll free 1-800-870-3676.

For more information about how you can ensure that your employment practices comply with federal laws, please contact any one of the attorneys of the Immigration Law or Employment Law practice groups at McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, Professional Association.