HR Alert: New Form I-9 Available from USCIS

By Leslie Lasher

Last week, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) released a new Form I-9.

The Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire.

As part of the hiring process, an applicant must present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing his or her identity and employment authorization.  In turn, the employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an applicant presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the applicant. Finally, the employer must record the document information on the Form I-9. Employers must retain Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.

The new Form I-9 contains minor changes to the instructions and list of acceptable documents.  The instructions now reflect the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practice’s new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER). The list of acceptable documents now includes the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240), lists all certifications of birth issued by the Department of State in one selection, and re-numbers List C documents.

Employers may use the new I-9 form as soon as possible, and they may also use the previous version through September 17 of this year. The new form will be the only one permitted as of September 18, 2017.

Along with the new Form I-9, USCIS has also released a new M-274 Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, which reflects the changes to the instructions and list of acceptable documents.

At the Forrest Firm, we work with clients on a routine basis to proactively keep them in compliance with all federal and state employment laws and regulatory guidelines.  Through our HR/employment audit service, we identify any gaps in employment law compliance at your company and quickly address these gaps while you continue your business development efforts. To learn more, contact me at the firm today.