Employers must use newest Form I-9 beginning Sept. 18

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 17 released a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Practice owners who are hiring or planning to hire employees soon may continue to use the current version of the Form I-9 or may choose to use the new version of the form through Sept. 16, but must begin using the updated Form I-9 beginning Monday, Sept. 18. CDA’s Employment Practices and Practice Management Analyst Michelle Corbo recommends that employers or authorized representatives of employers begin using the new form now to assist with the transition.

The new Form I-9 includes changes in both the instructions and the form. Most significantly, the new form adds Consular Report of Birth Abroad (FS-240) to the list of employment eligibility documents. UCIS in a news releases states, “Employers completing Form I-9 on a computer will be able to select Form FS-240 from the drop-down menus available in List C of Section 2 and Section 3.” Similarly, employers using e-verify can now select Form FS-240 “when creating a case for an employee who has presented this document for Form I-9.”

Other changes include renumbering of items in List C, the addition of an updated Handbook for Employers (M-274) and new language in the instructions.

This update is the second in less than a year for the Form I-9. UCIS released an updated form in November 2016. Employers were required to begin using that form no later than Jan. 21 of this year, as CDA reported in November.

Form retention, storage rules apply

Employers should continue to follow existing form retention and storage rules for previously completed forms. Forms must be retained for three years after the date of hire or one year after employment is terminated, whichever date is later.

The Form I-9 may be stored on-site or at an off-site facility in either a single format or combination of formats that include paper, electronic file or microfilm or microfiche. Ideally, forms can be kept in the confidential personnel files of individual employees. However, due to the sensitive confidential information on the forms, secure storage in a separate binder is recommended. This binder should also make it easier to produce the forms on file for an inspection request, should one occur, or for periodically auditing and shredding old forms. During an inspection, all forms retained for current and past employees can be included in an audit.

The complete requirements for Form I-9 storage and retention are available on the UCIS website.

Access the new Form I-9.

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