July 17, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification is revised.
The revised form must be used by employers no later than September 18 for any new employees, and be completed “no later than the first day of employment” as opposed to a previous command that it must be completed “no later than the end of the first day of employment.”
New versions and instructions for the Form I-9 can be found at: www.uscis.gov
We encourage our clients using paper forms to begin using the new version immediately to ensure a timely change in I-9 processes, although the immediately previous version (11/14/16) may validly be used until the end of the day September 17, 2017. Clients using electronic I-9 systems should reach out to their vendors and ensure the new form version is integrated.
Following these updates, Porte Brown also recommends that employers revisit their I-9 policies and procedures to ensure that section 1 of the form I-9 is completed no later than the first day the employee begins work for pay.
Form I-9 is a required form and part of the onboarding process that employers must go through, and is intended to prove identity and eligibility to work in the United States. It must be maintained in your employer records either for three years after the date of hire or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later. The form must be available for inspection by authorized U.S. Government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.
The new Form was published July 17, 2017, but employers have two months to transition to the new form. Employers will have until September 17, 2017 to begin using the new version of the Form I-9. After September 17, 2017, all previous versions of Form I-9 will become invalid.
Employer may be subject to fines and/or penalties in the event of failure to use the current version of Form I-9.
The changes for Form I-9 are found in the instructions and list of documents to establish employment authorization.
The revisions to the Form I-9 were mostly technical, compared to the major changes in form and electronic function last year. Specifically, the Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, is now listed as a List C acceptable document. Additionally, all forms issued by the Department of State reporting births abroad are now combined in one section under List C.
The instructions have been revised to reflect that the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices ("OSC"), the Department of Justice entity responsible for prosecuting I-9 related unfair employment practices, has changed its name to The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section ("IER").
Finally, USCIS clarified timelines for certain I-9 processes. Specifically, Section 1 of the Form I-9 must now be completed "no later than the first day of employment," as opposed to a previous command that it must be completed "no later than the end of the first day of employment." Similarly, individuals who are employed for less than three days must present I-9 documentation "no later than the first day of employment", as opposed to a previous command that documentation be provided "no later than the end of the first day of employment." USCIS has also released a new Form M-274 Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, relating to these changes.
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