The long-promised new Form I-9 is now available for use and downloading from the USCIS website. Although it became available for use starting January 31, 2020, there is a grace period. Employers have up to 90 days (until May 1, 2020) to start using the new form which has the Revision date 10/21/19 on the bottom corner. Failure to use the new form on and after May 1, 2020, will lead to penalties in case of an audit.
There are no changes on the paper form itself. But there are a couple of changes to the online form and a few non-substantive changes to the instructions.
Here is what is new:
- On the Online Version of the I-9
- The addition of Eswatini (previously Swaziland) and North Macedonia (previously Republic of Macedonia) to the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the foreign passport issuing authority field in Section 2 on the online form
- In the instructions
- A new paragraph has been added to the Completing Section 2: Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification clarifying that the employer has wide discretion when choosing an authorized representative to complete Section 2 on employer’s behalf. However, the new instructions also clarify that the employer remains liable for any violations their chosen representative commits.
- The instructions clarify that when completing Section 2, the employer should not fill in empty boxes with “N/A.” In other words, if you enter a List A document, you can leave the List B and List C section blank.
- USCIS has also updated various website addresses and other contact information (eliminating phone numbers for the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section), the process for requesting paper Form I-9s, and the DHS Privacy Notice.
It is important to remember that just because a new form has been issued, employers must not complete the new Form I-9 for current employees who already have a properly completed form on file. In fact, doing so could constitute document abuse. However, if the employer needs to do a reverification, the new form should be used and attached to the old form.