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By Loan T. Huynh, Robert D. Aronson, Laura J. Danielson & Debra A. Schneider

Person filling out form.On July 17, 2017, USCIS issued a revised version of the I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification Form. USCIS provided a transition period which ends on September 18, 2017. As of September 18, all employers must begin using the revised Form I-9, with a revision date of “7/17/17 N.” Additional changes were designed to account for reorganization at USCIS and to make completion of the form “easier for employers to navigate.”

When Must Employers Begin Using the New Form I-9?

Starting September 18, only the revised version will be accepted. Employers will be unable to use any other version of the Form I-9 to confirm the identity and employment eligibility of new employees hired in the United States. Employers have the choice of using the fillable Form I-9 or the Form I-9 Paper Version.

What are the Changes to the Form I-9?

The changes are in two categories: 1) changes to the Form I-9 Instructions and 2) changes to the List of Acceptable Documents.

New Wording in the Form I-9 Instructions: All references to the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices now refer to the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section, the new name of the office. The Form also omits “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment”. USCIS has not explained the rationale for this alteration, and the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association Verification and Documentation Liaison Committee has asked for clarification on this issue.

Alterations to the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9

Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, has been added to List C. For employers completing an I-9 form on a computer, this form can be accessed from the drop-down menus in List C of Sections 2 and 3. E-Verify users can also select Form FS-240 when creating a case where the employee in question has already presented the document. USCIS has also combined all reports of birth certifications issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) into selection C#2 under List C. In addition, all List C documents have been renumbered with the exception of the Social Security Card.

Handbook for Employers Guidance for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274)

USCIS has revised The Handbook for Employers Guidance for Completing the Form I-9 (M-274) to be consistent with the above changes. While in the past this resource has been available as a downloadable PDF on the USCIS website, it is now available as a web-based page. Printing the M-274 is still an option, but the resulting document is not paginated and lacks a table of contents, which makes finding information more difficult. There is, however, a “Table of Changes” describing alterations between the previous version of the handbook and the new revision.

For further information regarding I-9 compliance, please contact Fredrikson & Byron’s Immigration Group at 612.492.7648.

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