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CHECK AGAIN: Are You Using the Correct Form I-9?

What You Need to Know About the New Form I-9
Caty DeLone, HR Consultant

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of the Form I-9 that must be in use by all U.S. employers by September 18, 2017. It is important to note that this is the second version of the form to be released in less than 12 months. Although the changes to the form are subtle, it is important to familiarize yourself with them and ensure that you are utilizing the proper version of the form by the required date.

What Has Changed?

  • An update to the List of Acceptable Documents was made to now include as part of List C, the Department of State’s Form FS-240 Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
  • Changes have been made to the language within the instructions that describe when the Form I-9 must be completed.
  • The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has now been changed to the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

What Do These Changes Mean For Employers?

The Form FS-240 is the official record issued for children born abroad to U.S.-Citizen-parents. There was some confusion among employers as to whether this record was acceptable as the form itself was not specifically listed. By adding this Form to List C of the Acceptable Documents, USCIS is clarifying that it is indeed an acceptable record and is pursuant to the requirement of all other documents under List C. With the new version, employers digitally completing the form will be able to select Form FS-240 and those using E-Verify will have this form as a choice when creating a new case.

Another barely discernible change is the removal of “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment” in Section 1. USCIS did not give a specific reason for this change, however most assume it was made to ensure that the language in Section 1 is consistent with the regulations, which state that Section 1 “must be completed at the time of hire.” To be sure that you are in compliance with this change, check your Form I-9 completion procedures to verify that Section 1 is completed no later than when the employee begins work for compensation.

It is important to note that the storage and retention requirements have NOT changed with this new version. Those instructions via the USCIS website can be found online.

Perhaps the most important news for employers is that they can be subject to penalties if the right version of the Form I-9 is not used by September 18, 2017. A version of the new form can be found on the USCIS website.

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