Another New Form I-9?

Mike Staebell, Des Moines Iowa, Dickinson Law Firm, Iowa Wage & Hour Watch, Iowa Employment & Labor Law

Posted on 07/19/2017 at 12:00 AM by Mike Staebell

If it seems like a new Form I-9 is being issued every few months, you are not dreaming. Last fall, this blog discussed the November 14, 2016, version that is currently in use.

On July 17, 2017, the USCIS announced another revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274) has also been revised and is available on the USCIS website.

The latest version may be used for any employees hired on or after July 17, 2017. The November 14 2016 version may be used through September 17, 2017.  The new Form I-9 becomes mandatory on September 18, 2017.

Changes in the Latest Version:

The Form I-9 instructions in the Handbook For Employers have been revised as follows:

  • The words “the end of” have been removed from the phrase “the first day of employment.”  

(Remember: Section 1 must completed by the employee no later than the first day the employee starts work).

  • The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices has been changed in the I-9 instructions to reflect its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

The List of Acceptable Documents has been revised as follows:

  • Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, has been added as a valid List C document to confirm employment authorization. Employers completing Form I-9 electronically may select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus in List C of Section 2 and Section 3.  E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document.
  • The new Form I-9 combines all birth certifications issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350 and Form FS-240) into selection C #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents have been renumbered except the Social Security card. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C will change from List C #8 to List C #7.

To minimize the chances of using an out-of-date Form I-9, I suggest you alert and train your HR staff and begin using the July 17 Form I-9 immediately for new hires. And don’t forget that if you use the electronic version of the Form I-9, you are required to print it and sign it, and retain the paper version for your records. 

Although the changes to the Form I-9 are minimal, failure to comply by the September 18, 2017 deadline can result in significant fines. Penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 for mere paperwork violations that occurred after November 2, 2015 range from a minimum of $216 to a maximum of $2,156 per individual. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced increases in fines for Form I-9 violations last year, and those fines are indexed, meaning they will be raised every year. 

If you have any questions regarding I-9s or Employment & Labor Law please contact Mike Staebell

The material in this blog is not intended, nor should it be construed or relied upon, as legal advice. Please consult with an attorney if specific legal information is needed.

- Mike Staebell


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