The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS") released a new I-9 Form and a new Handbook for Employers on July 17, 2017. Companies must use the new form starting on September 18, 2017. Although the changes are minor, the USCIS will penalize companies who do not use the new form. Companies may download the new form from the USCIS website. In the new form, the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. In addition, the USCIS removed the words "the end of" from the phrase "the first day of employment," added the Consular Report of Birth Abroad to List C, and combined all the certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State. The List C documents, except the Social Security card, are renumbered.
Proper use of the I-9 Form is very important, especially since the USCIS is increasing its enforcement efforts. Recently, the USCIS audited one of the Firm's clients. The audit revealed a number of employees with non-conforming Social Security Numbers and errors the company made in the completion of I-9 Forms. Therefore, the Firm recommends an internal audit of the I-9 Forms and correcting errors. Although many human resource professionals believe they know how to correct errors on I-9 Forms, we recommend that our clients contact the Firm's immigration lawyers to learn how the USCIS requires companies to make and document the corrections.