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DHS Makes Revisions to Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Thursday, December 18, 2008

(American Meat Institute)

The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently submitted to the Federal Register an interim final rule making changes to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The interim final rule revises the list of documents deemed acceptable for the Form I-9.


Although it was published this week, changes will not take effect until February 2, 2009.  To see a copy of the rule, click here:  http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-29874.pdf


Starting February 2, it will be necessary for all employers to use the new Form I-9 to verify all new employees as well as employees with expiring employment authorization. Also during this time, the new Form I-9 will be available for download from the USCIS Web site, http://www.uscis.gov/ .


Two main changes of potential concern include the elimination of expired U.S. passports as an acceptable form of identification for employment eligibility as well as a change in attestation. With regard to the change in attestation, employers would now need to attest that to the best of their knowledge the “employment authorization” status instead of “employment eligibility” status of the employee to work in the United States. There is a subtle legal difference between the words “eligible” and “authorize” and USCIS states the new term “more accurately reflects the content” and purpose of Form I-9.


Please refer to the USCIS Web site for Q&A on revisions made to the Employment Eligibility Verification Form: http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/44732


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