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Which Version of Form I-9 Should I Use?

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The impending "expiration" of the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) clearance on the most recent Form I-9 calls into question how employers can know if they are using the correct version of I-9. The answer: the version available at www.uscis.gov/i-9.

We have encountered human resources personnel who thought that they were fine if using a version of Form I-9 that is within the period of OMB authorization shown at the top right corner of the form. The prior version of the form had an OMB expiration date that had not yet passed, so they thought they could keep using it until then.

In reality, the OMB clearance date is irrelevant to employers. That is only an internal governmental issue. What matters is the version date at the bottom left of the form, which indicates when that version came into effect. The employer simply needs always to use the version that is most recent. The most recent version was effective "7/17/17." The fact that this latest version's OMB clearance expires 8/31/19 does not matter, even after 8/31/19.

Historically, new versions of Form I-9 are publicized widely in the human resources industry. However, it is good practice to check www.uscis.gov/i-9 at least monthly to ensure you are using the current version as indicated on the bottom left of each page.

There are so many other complicated employment verification issues to worry about. Let's at least make sure we are using the right version of the essential form. Employers should keep an eye on www.uscis.gov/i-9 for a new version expected soon, even if it is a repeat of the existing form with a new version date at the bottom left.

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