Just as employers were set to start using an updated version of the Form I-9, the feds have delayed the implementation of the new form. What now?
Employers would’ve been required to use the updated I-9 on February 2. But on January 30, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service announced the effective date has been pushed back to April 3.
The delay was issued in response to a memorandum from the Obama administration asking federal agencies to freeze certain unimplemented regulations.
The USCIS has also extended the time it’s taking comments from the public on the new form. Comments will be accepted until March 4. In other words, the update isn’t final, yet. There’s still a chance the form could change again before going into effect.
The biggest change planned for the I-9: Employers will no longer be able to accept expired documents for employment eligibility verification. Right now, employees can submit expired passports and other documents, but that’s being stopped because expired IDs are easier to forge.
Also, three “List A” documents will be removed: the “Temporary Resident Card” (Form I-688) and “Employment Authorization Cards” (Forms I-688A and I-688B). The USCIS no longer issues those cards, and any that are in circulation have expired by now. Instead, people are issued Form I-766, which remains on the list.
These documents will be added to List A:
- the U.S. Passport Card to List A
- foreign passports containing machine-readable visas, and
- passports from certain citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.
What form should employers use now?
For now, employers should continue using the current version (it’s dated 06/05/07 at the bottom of the last page) and be prepared to change forms on April 3.
Both the current form and the one employers will be required to switch to are available here.