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Important Update: New Form I-9

By Jeffrey S. Bell

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. USCIS reports that employers can use this revised version immediately or continue using the previous Form I-9 (which references a revision date of November 14, 2016) through September 17. Starting on September 18, employers must use the new version Form I-9 (with a revision date of July 17, 2017). Employers must also continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9 as well as for the new form.

See the new I-9 and completion instructions here.

Why This Change is Important

In the event of an Immigration and Customs work site investigation, an employer’s failure to record a new hire’s identity and employment authorization on the proper version of Form I-9 may be considered a substantive violation or a technical violation. Substantive violations or uncorrected technical violations can subject an employer to civil fines ranging from $216 to $2,156 per employee.

The changes made by USCIS to Form I-9 include minor revisions to the Form I-9 instructions, changing the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, and removing “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment.”

In addition, several changes were made to the list of Acceptable Documents. The Consular Report of Birth Abroad has been added as a List C document, and USCIS renumbered all List C documents except the Social Security card. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.

As the Administration is focusing on immigration worksite compliance, we recommend employers review current compliance practices and procedures to ensure that all requirements are being met.