On January 31, 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it had published a new version of the Form I-9. The new Form I-9 has a “10/21/2019” version date, which can be found in the lower left corner of the Form I-9. The new Form I-9 can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
This new version of the Form I-9 contains minor changes to the form and the instructions and include:
- Revisions to the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswantini and North Macedonia per those countries’ recent name changes.
- Clarification in the instructions as to who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of the employer (essentially saying it can be anyone but the employer is liable if the authorized agent does not correctly complete Section 2 of the Form I-9 on the employer’s behalf).
- Provided clarification on some of the acceptable documents for the Form I-9.
- Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9.
Employers may begin using the new Form I-9 immediately but must use it beginning May 1, 2020. As of May 1, 2020, no prior versions of the Form I-9 may be used.
Because the changes are so minor, the transition to the new Form I-9 should be seamless for employers and additional training for HR is not required. But HR should make certain that all personnel who complete the Form I-9 on behalf of the employer are clear that the 7/17/2017 version of the Form I-9 cannot be used after April 30, 2020. It is recommended that an implementation date prior to May 1, 2020 be required.
The issuance of a new Form I-9 creates a good opportunity for employers to review their I-9 policies and procedures to make certain that they are compliant with all federal regulations. With I-9 audits by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) increasing substantially each year, employers should audit their I-9s annually including reviewing I-9 compliance policies to ensure they are in the best possible position to defend an I-9 audit by ICE.
Should you have questions regarding the new Form I-9 or any I-9 compliance issue, please contact the Firm attorney with whom you regularly work or the firm’s immigration law attorney, Patricia Bollman at firstname.lastname@example.org.