Another New Form I-9?
Yes, you heard correctly! Just when employers were getting used to the January 2017 version, the USCIS released another revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. For now, employers may use this revised version or continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of November 14, 2016 through September 17, 2017. However, starting on September 18, 2017, employers must use the new version, which a revision date of 7/17/17N. In anticipation of the switch to the new version, the USCIS has removed the prior version from its website.
So what has changed? Very little…
The Form itself is essentially the same. However, a few changes were made to the instructions, including changing references to the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section and removing the phrase "the end of" from the phrase "the first day of employment." At present, it is unclear why this was removed and if it signals any change in policy.
Of more significance, the USCIS added the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C as an acceptable document and combined all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) into one entry on the list. This is the first change to the List in a number of years.
Lastly, the USCIS also revised the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274) to reflect the changes noted above and organized and posted the content of the Handbook as a web-based resource. Employers still have the option to print the Handbook as a hard copy document or PDF, but the "printed" version has no page numbers or table of contents. This means that it may be less obvious in the future when the Handbook has been changed.
It is possible that one more version of the Form could be issued in March of next year, depending on whether or not the final rule on parole for entrepreneurs goes into effect. Until then, be sure that your organization is using the correct version of the Form I-9, preferably the newest version with the 7/17/17N revision date. If you have any Form I-9 issues or concerns, you can contact myself or Kelli Lieurance for assistance.