Another Revised Form I-9 Starting September 18, 2017

On July 17, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued yet another revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (“Form I-9”). USCIS recently issued a revised Form I-9 on November 14, 2016, which was required to be implemented by January 21, 2017 and attempted to make the form more computer-friendly and reduce technical errors. Now, however, while employers may continue to use the Form I-9 that was released on November 14, 2016 for the time being, employers must make the switch to the most recent Form I-9 by September 18, 2017.

By way of background, under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, all U.S. employers are required to verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining a Form I-9. Employers must maintain a completed Form I-9 on file for every employee on their payroll and for terminated employees during the required retention period. An employer who fails to properly prepare, retain, or produce Form I-9s faces a minimum penalty of $216 and a maximum penalty of $2,156 for each violation.

The new Form I-9, which is quite similar to the November 14, 2016 version, includes a few technical changes to both the Form I-9 Instructions and the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9. Those changes include:

Revisions to the Form I-9 instructions:

  • The name of the “Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices” was changed to its new name, “Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.”
  • “The end of” was removed from the phrase “the first day of employment.”

Revisions related to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9:

  • The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) was added to List C.
    • Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer are now able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Section 2 and Section 3.
    • E-Verify users are now also able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.
  • All of the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350 and Form FS-240) were combined into selection C #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents, except the Social Security card, were renumbered.
    • For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C has been changed from List C #8 to List C #7.

The key takeaway is that, by September 18, 2017, employers must use the new Form I-9 for all new hires and for re-verifying current employees with expiring employment authorization documentation. It should be noted that employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9 and should not complete new forms for existing employees who do not require re-verification.

The revised Form I-9 and Instructions can be found here: Revised Form I-9 and Instructions. Additionally, the aforementioned changes have also been included in a revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), which can be found here: Revised Handbook (M-274).

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the revised Form I-9 please feel free to contact our office.

By: Jonathan L. Triantos, Esquire
Associate at Brown & Connery, LLP