By Roger Tsai
Beginning September 18, 2017, U.S. employers are required to use the revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the revised form on July 17, 2017 but permitted employers to continue to use the prior version until last week. The new form has an expiration date of 08/31/2019 and may be accessed from the USCIS website here.
Form I-9 Revisions
Most of the changes in the revised I-9 Form relate to the List of Acceptable Documents that show an individual’s identity and employment authorization. In particular, the changes include:
- Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, was added to List C
- All the certifications of report of birth issued by the State Department (e.g., Forms FS-545, DS-1350, and FS-240) were combined into selection C#2 in List C
- All List C documents (except the Social Security Card) are renumbered
Other changes include removing the phrase “the end of” from the requirement that newly hired employees complete and sign Section 1 of the Form no later “than the first day of employment.” Another revision to the instructions is the renaming of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. USCIS updated its Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274) to reflect the changes.
Check That New Forms Are Being Used
Employers need to ensure that all new employees hired on or after September 18th have completed the revised Form I-9. If you allow individual supervisors or managers to coordinate completion of I-9 forms for new hires, be sure to alert them to the new form immediately. If you use a third-party I-9 service provider, check that it has updated its service to the new forms. Civil penalties for I-9 non-compliance can range between $216 and $2,156 per worker, even for a first violation.