What's New in USCIS's Latest Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

Read this before filing your I-9.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has put out a new version of Form I-9, the form that employers must, by federal law, use to verify that an employee has the legal right to work in the United States.

The new form has the date 7/17/2017 in the bottom left corner, and an expiration date of 8/31/2018 in the top right corner. Instructions for the form have been updated as well, and carry the same revision and expiration dates. USCIS has also updated the Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), to reflect the revisions.

The new form is available on the USCIS website in both fillable pdf and nonfillable (for print only) versions. There is a Spanish version available for use in Puerto Rico (only).

Employers can keep using the old version of form I-9 (dated 11/14/2016) until September 17, 2017 if they want to, but as of September 18, 2017, USCIS will accept the new form only.

Not a lot has changed in the new I-9 form. The main reason for the revision was to add the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C, which is the list of documents that establish employment authorization. (A List C document must be combined with a List B identity document to satisfy USCIS.)

If you’re filling the form online, you’ll see the FS-240 in the drop-down menus available in List C of Section 2 and Section 3. If you’re an E-Verify user, you’ll be able to select Form FS-240 when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document to you.

The FS-240 has been the form the State Department uses to certify a report of birth abroad since 2011, so its inclusion in List C was overdue. The State Department’s old forms for certifying a report of birth abroad (Forms FS-545 and Form DS-1350) are no longer separately listed, but rather combined with FS-240 into selection 2 in List C. This required a renumbering of the selections in List C (except the Social Security card, which remains selection 1).

The I-9 instructions’ antidiscrimination notice was updated to reflect the new name of the former Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices. It’s now called the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER). That office, part of the Department of Justice, enforces the antidiscrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and prohibits: (1) citizenship status or national origin discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee; (2) unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process; and (3) retaliation or intimidation.

Finally, the instructions now state that newly hired employees must complete and sign Section 1 no later than the first day of employment. The instructions used to say no later than “the end of the first day of employment.” USCIS believed the words “the end of” were unnecessary and possibly confusing.

Effective Date: July 17, 2017