Late last year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) issued a final rule revising Form I-9 and the list of documents that are acceptable to verify identity and employment authorization. Beginning September 18, 2017, all employers must use the revised I-9 Form dated “7/17/2017 N” for new hires or rehires. The new Forms, Instructions, and related documents may be obtained here: [www.uscis.gov/i-9].

Below is the list of notable revisions:

  1. Employers will be able to use the “7/17/2017” version or continue using Form I-9 with the revision date of “11/14/16” through September 17, 2017. However, beginning September 18, 2017, the only acceptable I-9 Form is the revised form dated 7/17/2017. Employers are not required to update existing employees’ I-9 Forms.
  2. An electronic version of the I-9 Form was created to facilitate completion and reduce errors. It includes drop-down menus, pop-up boxes, and on-screen instructions. Employers may still choose to manually complete the I-9 Form. Either version must be signed and retained by the employer.
  3. The new I-9 Form clarifies that employees must fill out an I-9 Form “by the first day of employment,” to demonstrate their identity and eligibility to work in the United States. Employees are still given three business days from their hire date (not including the day they start work) to provide original, unexpired documentation to support their I-9 responses.
  4. The instructions for Form I-9 are more detailed and are separate from the Form itself.
  5. List C of the I-9 Form now has seven rather than eight options resulting from a combination of two separate categories of certification of report of birth issued by the U.S. State Department.
  6. Section 1 of the I-9 Form permits employees to use a post office box as an address and provides additional space for Other Last Names Used.
  7. Section 2 of the I-9 Form also provides additional space (“additional information”) to comment on any documents being submitted.

Although the changes to the Form I-9 are minimal, failure to use the new form by the September 18, 2017 deadline can result in significant fines. Consequently, it is important that all personnel responsible for completing the Form I-9 are trained on the new form requirements.