Employers Must Use New I-9 Form in 2017

It’s time for employers to switch over to the new Form I-9.

As of September 18, 2017, employers are required to use a new version of Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification released by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Form I-9 is used by employers to verify that new hires are authorized to work in the United States. The employee fills out a portion of the form and provides documents establishing identity and work authorization; the employer reviews the documentation and fills out the rest of the form. (To learn more see, our article on how to use Form-I9 to verify work authorization.)

Form I-9 remains largely the same. However, USCIS made some changes to the Form I-9 instructions and to the list of acceptable documents, including:

  • reflecting the new name of the agency that enforces the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • adding the Consular Report of Birth Abroad to the list of acceptable documents, and
  • removing unnecessary language and renumbering lists.

The new Form I-9 is available at the USCIS website, in fillable or unfillable pdf format. The form must be used for all new hires beginning on September 18, 2017. Employers that fail to use the new form may be assessed penalties by USCIS. The new version of the form should be used until August 31, 2019, unless USCIS revises the form again before then.

USCIS has a number of resources to help employers understand Form I-9, including a free webinar and a handbook for employers.

Effective Date: September 18, 2017