In November 2016, HR Legalist announced that United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The most significant change was to make the form easier to complete and print using a computer. Today, July 17, 2017, USCIS has introduced yet another revised Form I-9. Employers will be able to use this revised version or continue using the most recent Form I-9 with a revision date of “11/14/16 N” until September 2017. After that date, employers must use the revised form with a revision date of “07/17/17 N.” Also, employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.
The new Form I-9 will be quite similar to the current version. USCIS has changed the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section. Also, USCIS has amended the text of the form and updated List C, documents to establish employment authorization. All changes have been included in a revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), which also will be easier for users to navigate.
The Form I-9 was introduced in 1986 to help employers comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the United States without verifying their identity and employment authorization on Form I-9. Every employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the U.S. must complete a Form I-9. Also, as HRLegalist discussed previously, employers should be mindful not to confuse compliance with I-9 regulations with participation in the E-Verify program. The latter does not replace the I-9 nor does it remove an employer’s obligations to comply with the I-9 process.
As always, HRLegalist urges our readers to consult legal counsel regarding any questions related to the new Form I-9 or the completion and retention of Forms I-9 for their employees.
Gregory J. Eck is an attorney in Obermayer’s Labor Relations and Employment Law Department, representing businesses and individuals in all aspects of immigration law. He can be reached at 215.665.3157 or Gregory.Eck@obermayer.com.