USCIS recently released a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new form makes subtle changes to phrases and instructions and adds additional acceptable List C documents. Starting September 18, 2017, employers must use the new version of the form, although we encourage employers to begin to use the form now to allow for adequate training. Employers are reminded to continue to following existing storage and retention rules for previously completed Forms I-9.
Coupled with the new I-9 is an updated M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing I-9. The updated handbook has a new format and is revised to reflect the form changes.
Employers must complete Form I-9 for each employee hired and must retain the Form for three years after the date of hire or one year after the employee’s employment ends, whichever is later. Homeland Security Investigations conducts audits of Forms I-9 and employers may be liable for civil fines for failure to properly complete or retain the form. Fines increase substantially if unauthorized workers or unfair immigration related employment practices are found.
The Trump Administration has focused its immigration agenda on compliance and enforcement, so the release of the new Form I-9 is an opportune time for employers to review their I-9 forms and best practices. Please reach out to any member of the Davis Wright Tremaine immigration attorney team for guidance on I-9 review and completion.