The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to publish its final rule concerning documents acceptable to verify employment eligibility on the federal Form I-9, which is used to establish a person's legal right to work in the United States.

The final rule, which will be published tomorrow (April 15) in the Federal Register, adopts the wording and intent of the department's interim final rule, which was released on Dec. 17, 2008.

The department's announcement explains: "The rationale for the interim rule and the reasoning provided in the preamble to the interim rule remain valid with respect to these regulatory amendments, and DHS adopts such reasoning in support of the promulgation of this final rule."

The regulations reaffirm three categories of documents for verifying a person's legal work right:

  • List A—documents that establish both identity and employment authorization (e.g., U.S. passport, Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card; or Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document).
  • List B—documents that establish only identity (e.g., state-issued driver's license or identification card).
  • List C—documents that establish only employment authorization (e.g., state-issued birth certificate or an unrestricted Social Security card).

The final rule becomes effective 30 days after publication.

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