As we advised back in March, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published the newest version of the Form I-9 on July 17, 2017. The form is available for download from their website.

Employers are permitted to use the prior version with a revision date of 11/14/16 N through September 17th, but will be required to use the new version (revision date 07/17/17 N) beginning September 18th. But why wait? Switch over to the new form now.

Although the changes to the Form I-9 are minor, failure to comply with the deadline can result in significant fines. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced increases in fines for Form I-9 violations.

What Has Changed?

Subtle changes were made to the Form I-9 with the goal of making the form easier to navigate. Current storage and retention rules have not changed.

The revisions in the new Form I-9 primarily¬†relate to USCIS’s List of Acceptable Documents, specifically an update to List C to reflect the most current version of the certification or report of birth issued by the U.S. State Department.

Changes to the List of Acceptable Documents
Employers who complete the Form I-9 electronically will be able to selection the newly added Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240), which is issued to individuals born oversees to a U.S. citizen parent. This form has been in use for a while, but many employers were previously told it was not an acceptable document to verify employment eligibility. This change should help clarify prior confusion. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for employees who present this document for employment eligibility verification.

All birth certificates issued by the U.S. State Department (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) are compiled into selection #2 in List C.

Other Changes You Should Know About
In addition,¬†USCIS modified the instructions slightly — removing “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment” in reference to completing Section 1. Also, it revised the name of the Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, the Immigration and Employee Rights Section. These two additional changes should not give you any reason to lose sleep at night.

Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens.

Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9.

Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.