By: Melanie M. Dunajeski, Drewry Simmons Vornehm, LLP
Earlier this year we alerted you to the fact that the USCIS Form I-9 “Employment Eligibility Verification” had been revised. Well, scarcely six months after that revision went into effect, a new revision was announced. Use of the new form became mandatory on September 18, 2017—that means if you are not using it now for your new hires, you are in violation. What is different? For starters, there are changes to the instructions and to the list of acceptable documents evidencing a person’s eligibility to legally work in the country. For the first time, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad Form FS-240 has been added to the list of documents acceptable to show work eligibility. All the documents in Part C have been renumbered, so a review of the new instructions is in order. Another notable change is that the form’s instructions have been modified so that the words “the end of” have been removed from the phrase that previously required the form to be completed by the end of the employee’s first day of employment. That instruction now indicates the form should be completed “at the time of hire”. While a subtle difference, it now indicates that the form must be completed before the new employee performs any work for pay. If you have not already done so, you can get the forms and the instructions at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9 . Failure to use the new form and comply with the new instructions can result in substantial fines.