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A Mandatory New I-9 Form, Effective April 2009

A Mandatory New I-9 Form, Effective April 2009

The Inside Perspective
(March 2009)

The U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services ("USCIS") has issued a new version of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form.  It became effective for all employers on April 3, 2009.  The USCIS will no longer accept the older I-9 as verification of the identity and work authorization status of all new employees.

As before, employers must have employees complete the new I-9 on their first day of work.  It is not necessary to have current employees fill out the new form, as long as they were properly verified when they began work.

The new I-9 requires that ALL documents (even passports) be unexpired when presented to the company representative, even if they will not need to be re-verified.  Other changes are very detailed:

  • A new option in Section 1 is for an employee to self-identify as a "non-citizen national of the United States."  While this phrase suggests it applies to anyone who is a native of a United States territory, it is a verification available only to individuals from American Samoa.
  • New options exist for acceptable "List A" documents, which are those that establish both the employee's identity and authorization to work.  They now include:
    • a revised I-766 Employment Authorization Document;
    • a foreign passport with Form I-94 cards authorizing non-immigrant aliens to work for a specific employer; and
    • an unexpired foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp (or a machine-readable I-551 printed notation on an immigrant visa).

Unless an employer participates in the E-Verify program, an employee is not required to provide a Social Security Number in Section 1, and it is not a violation for that section to be left blank by the employee.

TIP: The new I-9 Form and the updated "Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9" are available at no cost to employers online at or by calling USCIS at 800-375-5283.  The I-9 process is now more detailed than ever, but the revised form plainly gives a handy roadmap.

Laura Deddish Burton
T (336) 378-5566
F (336) 378-5400
Associated Attorneys

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