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WORKPLACE LAW LOWDOWN | Important News: USCIS Issues Another New Form I-9

By: Danielle C. Lester

On July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a revised version of the Form I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification,” which is used to verify the identity and work eligibility of every new employee hired, or for the reverification of expiring employment authorization of current employees (if applicable).  The newly revised form contains the date of 07/17/17 N on the lower left hand corner.

Here are the key effective dates:

Now Through September 17, 2017

  • Employers may use the new form, Form I-9 (07/17/17 N) with an expiration date of August 31, 2019, or
  • Employers may use the form with the revision date of 11/14/16 N, which is the form employers were required to start using as of January 22, 2017.

September 18, 2017 and Beyond

  • All employers must begin to use the new form 07/17/17 N. 
  • Employers who fail to use Form I-9 (07/17/17 N) on or after September 18, 2017 may be subject to all applicable penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The USCIS made no changes to the existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9. 

In addition to the above Form I-9 changes, the USCIS issued a revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 which includes revisions to both the Form I-9 Instructions and the List of Acceptable Form I-9 Documents sections.  The noteworthy changes are these:

  • The instructions on Section 2 have been modified slightly to state: “Employers or their authorized representative must complete and sign Section 2 within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of employment.”
  • The List C documents have been renumbered, the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) was added as a List C document, and all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) have been combined.

Takeaways

These changes indicate that the Trump administration is focused on I-9 compliance so heightened federal enforcement may be on the horizon.  Now is the time to ensure that your I-9 form policies and practices are in order, that your Section 2 completers/representatives are properly trained, and that you are ready for any Form I-9 audit by ICE.