New Version Of Form I-9 Now Available

Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP

Today, Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the long awaited new version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for immediate use.  The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a notice today in the Federal Register announcing the official release of the new version of the form, as approved by Office of Management and Budget on Oct. 21, 2019.  This edition of the form replaces all other forms and should be used immediately for all new hires and reverifications.  The previous edition of the Form (with Rev. 07/17/2017 N in the lower left corner) remains valid for 60 days.  Thereafter, only the new edition of the form is acceptable.

The new edition of the form is available in fillable PDF format, print format and in Spanish on USCIS’ I-9 Central website.  (Note that the Spanish form may only be executed by employers in Puerto Rico; Employers in the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version of the Form as a translation guide only but must complete the English version of the Form.)  The associated instructions and the Form I-9 Supplement, Preparer and/or Translator Certification, have both also been updated.

Employers should begin using the updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020, however, use of the new edition is not mandated until April 30, 2020 to provide employers with sufficient time to adjust their practices.  Employers can confirm that they are using the current and correct edition of the form by checking the form date in the lower left corner, which should read 10/21/2019, and the expiration date in the upper right corner, which should read 10/31/2022.

This new edition contains minor changes to the form and its instructions:

Change the Form (Fillable PDF Version only):  Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per those countries’ recent name changes.

Changes in the Instructions:

  • Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
  • Updated USCIS website addresses
  • Provided clarification on acceptable documents
  • Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
  • Updated the DHS Privacy Notice

All U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for every employee hired in order to verify that the individual is authorized for employment in the United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).  Beginning April 30, 2020, employers must use the new edition of the Form for all new hires and for re-verifying current employees with expiring employment authorization documentation.  Employers should not complete new Forms for existing employees who do not require re-verification.

A best practice would be for employers to begin using the new edition of the form immediately, but employers may continue using the prior edition of the form until April 30, 2020.  After that date, only the form with the 10/21/2019 date (located on the lower left corner of the form) may be used.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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