Another I-9 rule is scheduled to be published on Monday, February 23, 2009, which concerns verifying employment authorization for foreign nationals enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard). In essence, the rule provides for employer-specific employment authorization for those foreign nationals who do not otherwise have work authorization that would permit enlistment (e.g., those in nonimmigrant status) who are deemed to be “vital to the national interest.” For example, one of these Armed Forces could determine that a foreign national nurse be enlisted because they have a shortage of medical personnel. Although US law has provided for this scenario, the actual regulations and Form I-9 have not. The rule now closes this gap.
The rule also adds the military identification card to list A (documents acceptable for establishing employment eligibility and identity) to the I-9 form, but only for use by the Armed Forces to verify employment eligibility of aliens lawfully enlisted in the Armed Forces.
Note – this final rule does not change or modify the Form I-9 document list for private or public employers other than the Armed Forces; private or public employers other than the Armed Forces may not accept a military identification card as a List A document to satisfy documentation requirements of the Form I-9. For other employers, a military identification card may continue to be accepted only as a List B identification document.
The rule is scheduled for publication on 2/23/09. It’s unclear whether the 2-2-09 form I-9 (currently scheduled to go into effect on April 3, 2009) will be revised again to reflect the change to List A.
An advance copy of the rule is available through the Office of the Federal Register.