USCIS Issues Final Rule on Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Process to be Effective May 16

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a final rule that adopts the interim rule in effect since April 3, 2009 that improved the integrity of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process by changing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations governing the acceptable documents for completing the Form I-9 process. The final rule will be effective on May 16, 2011.

The key changes made by the interim rule on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 process and adopted by the final rule include:

  • Prohibiting employers from accepting expired documents;
  • Eliminating from List A identity and employment authorization documentation Forms I-688, I-688A, and I-688B (Temporary Resident Card and outdated Employment Authorization Cards);
  • Adding to List A foreign passports containing temporary I-551 printed notations on certain machine-readable immigrant visas; and
  • Adding to List A as evidence of identity and employment authorization valid passports for citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI), along with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.

All employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States. The list of acceptable documents that employees may present to verify their identity and employment authorization is divided into three sections:

  • List A documents, which show identity and employment authorization;
  • List B documents, which show identity only; and
  • List C documents, which show employment authorization only.

The USCIS also has a ‘Form I-9 Questions and Answers’ page on its website to help employers understand the final rule on Employment Eligibility Verification process. Employers may find the answers to the following questions about the Form I-9 process:

  • What does the final rule accomplish?
  • Why can’t I present an expired document?
  • Does this final rule make any changes to how Form I-9 is completed?
  • Is USCIS issuing a new Form I-9 with this final rule?

Employers may continue to use the current version of the Form I-9 (Rev. 08/07/2009) or the previous version (Rev. 02/02/2009).  The Handbook for Employers, Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) is available at

The final rule on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 process is available at

To learn more about how Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a background check provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – can help employers comply with the federal Form I-9 process and E-Verify requirements as a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent, visit

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR): Founded in 1996 in the San Francisco Bay area with a mission to help employers and employees maintain safe workplaces, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by ESR founder and President Lester Rosen. ESR is Accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent helping U.S. businesses maintain legal workforces. For more information about Employment Screening Resources, visit or email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at