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The Empire Strikes Back: Yet Another New Form I-9 Is Issued

The previous Form I-9, the 12th version since it was introduced in 1986, was issued on 11/14/16 and was effective as of that date. As of January 17, 2017, the use of that form became mandatory and the use of the previous form, dated 3/8/13, became improper. Although U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that they would issue yet another Form I-9 on July 17, 2017, there was doubt as to whether they would follow through on that goal.

However, all doubts have been silenced and a new Form I-9 was issued today, July 17, 2017, and may be used immediately ( The last version of Form I-9 (revised on 11/14/16) may still be used through September 17, 2017. However, on September 18, 2017 employers must use the form with a revision date of 7/17/17. The new form should also be used for Section 3 reverifications after that date.

Existing I-9 storage and retention rules continue to apply. A new Handbook for Employers (Form M-274) was issued last Friday, 7/14/17.

The changes on the new Form I-9 are not far reaching. They include the following:

  • The Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240) will be added to List C.
  • At the same time, all certifications of report of birth issued by the Department of State, including Form FS-240 described immediately above, will be combined with Forms FS-545 and DS-1350 into item #2 in List C.
  • All List C documents will be renumbered with the exception of the Social Security card. As an example, the employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security which presently is listed as selection #8 will be moved to selection #7.

The previous Form I-9 (dated 11/14/16) was the first I-9 “smart form” available on the computer. The new Form I-9 will be available in the same format, as well as in a paper format. It appears that, like the previous Form I-9, neither employers nor employees will be able to sign the smart form digitally, and, upon its completion the employer will have to print it off and both the employee and the employer will have to sign it manually.

But wait! That’s not all! The Department of Homeland Security has also issued a proposed rulemaking related to certain international investors in the U.S. to allow for additional public comment. The new rule and the resulting additional changes to Form I-9 are predicted to be effective on March 14, 2018. Those changes will include changes to the acceptable List A documents to reflect documents related to the investor status which is the subject of the rulemaking. In addition, the Form I-9 will be modified to replace the phrase “nonimmigrant alien” with “individual” and to replace “alien’s nonimmigrant” with “individual”.

We will keep readers advised of any updates concerning future changes to Form I-9.