Employee I-9 Forms: Changes as of September 18, 2017

Recently the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services updated the I-9 Form, which is used to verify the identity and work eligibility of every employee. The new I-9 Form, which is coded with the 07/17/17N in the lower left hand of the document should be used for all new employees hired after September 18, 2017. The new form does not need to be used for employees that were hired prior to the September 18, 2017 date. Visit the new I-9 Form website for complete details.

Minor changes to the form include the following:

  • All certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, and Form FS-240) are now combined within selection C#2 in List C included in the I-9 Form under the “Lists of Acceptable Documents”.
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) is now also acceptable document under List C within the I-9 Form under the “Lists of Acceptable Documents”.
  • The I-9 Form now reflects the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices’ new name, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

Storage & Retention Rules

Part of the documentation requirements of having employees is having an employee complete an I-9 form, which verify’ s the employees eligibility to work in the United States which is then retained by an employer for as long as the individual works for the employer. Employers should continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for each completed form. The confusion comes as to when you are able to do some “house cleaning” and throw the I-9 forms out for those employees that no longer work for you. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service has a handbook that provides some great resource information regarding the I-9 Forms along with full color examples of documentation for your review. These guidelines are available within the newly updated Handbook for Employers – M-274.

The handbook states that once employment of a person has been terminated the I-9 Form must be “retained three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment is terminated, whichever is later”. The example worksheet below is provided in the handbook (p.45-46) and helps you determine exactly when you are able to dispose of the I-9 Forms for a person once they have terminated their employment with you.

Figure 2. Form I-9 Retention Calculator.

Courtesy: Handbook for Employers M-274



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