U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has once again updated its I-9 Form, and requires employers to begin using it by April 30, 2020.
The I-9 Form is used to verify employment eligibility under United States immigration law. I have heard some say it is the most complicated two page form the U.S. government issues. On the surface, it looks simple enough, but the form has many, many places that can trip an HR Representative up. I encourage all employers to responsible persons to uniformly take on the responsibility. That employee should be comfortable reviewing the M-274 Handbook for Employers as well as all the resources on verification available at the USCIS’s I-9 Central site. I am happy to review policies and help companies conduct self-audits, to verify that their I-9 forms and practices are in order. The government has increased its audit activity four times over in the past year, and so now is the time to get the I-9 house in order, before the government serves a Notice of Inspection.
Here is the text of USCIS’s announcement about the latest edition of the I-9 form:
On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Form I-9 Federal Register notice announcing a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that the Office of Management and Budget approved on Oct. 21, 2019. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.
The notice provides employers additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.
USCIS made the following changes to the form and its instructions:
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. (Note: This change is only visible when completing the fillable Form I-9 on a computer.)
- Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
- Updated USCIS website addresses
- Provided clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9
- Updated the process for requesting paper Forms I-9
- Updated the DHS Privacy Notice
A revised Spanish version of Form I-9 with a version date of 10/21/2019 is available for use in Puerto Rico only.