New Form I-9 Includes Change in When It Must Be Completed

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For the second time in less than a year, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new version bears a revision date of 07/17/17 N.

By September 18, 2017, employers must use only this new version (rev. 0/7/17/17 N). Until then, employers can continue using Form I-9 with a revision date of 11/14/16 N or use this new version.

The Instructions for Form I-9 and the Form I-9 Supplement also have been updated.

Timing Change

One change relates to the timing of when the Form I-9 must be completed. Previously, the form and instructions stated that the employee must complete Section 1 “by the end of the first day of employment [emphasis added].”

Now, the USCIS has removed “the end” from the phrase, and the employee must complete Section 1 “by the first day of employment.”

According to the revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9, the employee must complete Section 1 “at the time of hire (by the first day of their employment for pay).” Remember, employers cannot ask an individual to complete Section 1 before he/she has accepted a job offer.

Other Revisions

According to the USCIS, revisions also include:

• A change to the name of the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices to its new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

• Revisions related to the list of acceptable documents on Form I-9.

• Added the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) to List C.

• Combined all the 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.

• Renumbered all List C documents except the Social Security card. For example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security on List C changed from List C #8 to List C #7.

The USCIS also included these changes in the revised Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9 (M-274), which also was improved for ease of navigation.

Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

Available on HRCalifornia

The California Chamber of Commerce has added the new Form I-9 English and Spanish versions to the HRCalifornia website, along with the Instructions for Form I-9 (and Spanish) and the Form I-9 Supplement. All these forms are available for free.

Staff Contact: Gail Cecchettini Whaley

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Gail Cecchettini Whaley
About Gail Cecchettini Whaley
Gail Cecchettini Whaley, employment law counsel/content, joined the CalChamber in June 2011 with nearly 20 years of practice in employment law. Since joining the CalChamber staff, Whaley has been chief author of the popular HRWatchdog blog and HRCalifornia Extra e-newsletter. She is a contributor and editor for CalChamber’s various human resources compliance products, including the HRCalifornia website, and serves as a content expert. She earned a B.A. with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.