U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has informed all employers to continue using the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, released on July 17, 2017, notwithstanding the August 31, 2019, expiration date listed on that form.
According to USCIS, a new edition of the Form I-9 will be “soon be published.” However, it has yet to be published and USCIS did not provide a timeframe for its release. USCIS notes that in “the meantime, [employers] may file using the 07/17/17 edition.”
What is Form I-9?
Form I-9 is an absolute requirement for all employers. The Immigration and Nationality Act mandates all employers to verify each employee’s identity and eligibility to lawfully work in the United States. To do this, employers and employees must complete the Form I-9 and follow document review, compliance, and retention requirements. Failure to properly conduct employment eligibility verification through accurately completing the Form I-9 for each employee risks the imposition of significant civil and, in certain circumstances, criminal penalties.
What Should Employers Do?
Normally, using an expired form would be considered a technical Form I-9 violation. Given USCIS’ recent guidance, however, employers may continue using the Form I-9 that is expiring on August 31, 2019, without penalty, until USCIS publishes a revised version. Employers are reminded that USCIS may publish the revised Form I-9 at any time, so it is a best practice to require the download of the most recent Form I-9 directly from USCIS’ I-9 Central with each new hire.