The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on July 17, 2017. Between now and September 17, 2017, employers may use either the version of Form I-9 dated November 14, 2016 or the newly issued version of the form, but beginning on September 18, 2017, employers must use the new form, dated July 17, 2017.
USCIS is the federal government agency that oversees immigration to the United States. Form I-9 is used by the USCIS to verify both the identity and the employment authorization of individuals hired to work in the United States. All employers are required to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of each new employee and all employees are required to present acceptable documents to evidence their identity and authorization to work in the United States. Employers and employees are responsible for completing the respective sections of Form I-9 that apply to them.
On July 17, 2017, USCIS made revisions to the Form I-9 instructions to change the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to reflect its new name, Immigration and Employee Rights Section, and to delete the phrase, “the end of,” from the phase, “the first day of employment,” so that the text now reads, “Section 1 must be completed no later than the employee’s first day of employment.”
USCIS also revised the List of Acceptable Documents (List C) to add the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) and to combine all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Forms FS-545, DS-1350, and FS-240) into one selection (the new C#2) on List C.
Although the changes to Form I-9 and its instructions are relatively minimal, employers should make sure that they understand the changes and that, by September 18, 2017, they are using the new, revised form. Because failure to comply with the Form I-9 requirements can result in civil monetary penalties or even criminal penalties in some instances, employers might consider beginning to use the new form now rather than waiting until the September 18 deadline.