August 9, 2017
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently released a new version of Form I-9, which must be used on and after Sept. 18, 2017. This new form has a revision date of July 17, 2017, and is the current (and only) version that is available on the agency’s website.
Although the revisions are modest, all employers must still comply:
- Changes to List of Acceptable Documents: USCIS added Form FS-240 (Consular Report of Birth Abroad) to List C. E-Verify users will also be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who presented this document in conjunction with the completion of Section 2 or 3 of Form I-9.
- Combined Forms: USCIS combined all forms of certification of report of birth issued by the State Department (Forms FS-545, Form DS-1350 and Form FS-240) into selection C, number 2 in List C. The documents have been renumbered, except for Social Security cards, which retain their same List C number in the List of Acceptable Documents.
- Changes to the Instructions of Form I-9: USCIS removed “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment” in connection with the completion of Section 1. The significance and consequences of the change are unknown, but the general rule of Section 1 completion is still the same: Section 1 must be completed by the employee on or before the first date of employment.
- Employment Office Name Change: USCIS changed references to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.
- Revisions to the M-274 Handbook for Employers: When employers navigate to the USCIS Form I-9 page, the link to the M-274 now directs them to follow a web-based interface. These changes to the M-273 are similar in format to the changes to the E-Verify guidance available from USCIS.
Previously the link to the M-274 allowed the user to download a PDF document. That document is still available, but it now lacks a table of contents and is no longer paginated. This has made the print version of the M-274 Handbook less user-friendly, and it is more difficult to find information.
USCIS also now provides a “Table of Changes” from the prior version of the M-274, but it is not known how often the agency will update the new web version of the form or whether the Table of Changes will be accurately updated. In the past, USCIS has made changes to the M-274 relatively unannounced; hopefully this practice will change with the new Table of Changes.
This new version of Form I-9 will probably be short-lived, because the USCIS will need to provide another update to Form I-9 in the event that the Entrepreneur Parole Rule (EPR) is implemented. Currently, USCIS anticipates the effective date of the final EPR will be in March 2018, but the agency has also signaled that it may eliminate the rule later this fall or early next spring.
If that is the case, the new version of Form I-9 may be around for some time.
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