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Immigration Dispatch
Timing is everything: USCIS revises Form I-9 to clarify when Section 1 should be completed

July 25, 2017

As you may recall, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services recently modernized the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to offer both a “paper” and an “electronic” version. Last week, the USCIS released yet another revised version (edition 07/17/17) of Form I-9, with subtle changes to the form’s instructions and list of acceptable documents.

Employers may continue to use the November 2016 edition of the form until September 17, 2017. Starting on September 18, 2017, however, only the 07/17/17 edition will be valid.

In addition to some technical changes, the latest edition modifies the form’s instructions in reference to completing Section 1. Previously, Section 1 had to be completed by “the end of the first day of employment.” By removing “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment,” USCIS clarifies that the employee should “complete Section 1 at the time of hire (by the first day of their employment for pay).”

Although USCIS has not provided guidance as to the effect of this change, employers may want to revisit their onboarding practices to ensure that Section 1 of Form I-9 is completed no later than when the employee starts work for pay rather than by the end of the first day of employment.

The new edition also

  • adds the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) as a List C document;
  • combines certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) into selection C.2 in List C;
  • renumbers all List C documents, except the Social Security card; and
  • changes the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

Adobe recently came out with an update. To access the new Form I-9, you should check to make sure that you have the most recent version of Adobe. Once you access the form, look at the revision date printed on the bottom left corner of the form, rather than the expiration date printed at the top right corner of the form.

For a printer-friendly copy, click here

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