A notice filed in the Federal Register by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires employers to use a new Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) starting Dec. 26, 2007 for new hires. Employers who fail to use the new form could be subject to fines and penalties.

The revision seeks to achieve full compliance with the document reduction requirements of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), which reduced the number of documents employers may accept from newly hired employees during the employment eligibility verification process, the USCIS said.

The revised Form I-9 is a further step in the agency’s ongoing work toward reducing the number of documents used to confirm identity and work eligibility.

Key to the revision is the removal of five documents for proof of both identity and employment eligibility including: Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-570); Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570); Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-151); the unexpired Reentry Permit (Form I-327); and the unexpired Refugee Travel Document (Form I-571). The forms were removed because they lack sufficient features to help deter counterfeiting, tampering, and fraud, the USCIS said.

In addition, the most recent version of the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) was added to List A of the List of Acceptable Documents on the revised form.

The revised list now includes: a U.S. passport (unexpired or expired); a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551); an unexpired foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp; an unexpired Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766, I-688, I-688A, or I-688B); and an unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94) for non-immigrant aliens authorized to work for a specific employer.

The new I-9 form is available online at www.uscis.gov.