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USCIS releases new I-9 form 2019

February 5, 2020

On Jan. 31, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a notice entitled “Introduction of a New Version of Employment Eligibility Verification Form.” This notice announced a new version of the Form I-9, which was approved by the Office of Management and Budget on Oct. 21, 2019. This new version incorporates minor modifications to both the form and its instructions. 

Guidance for employers

With I-9 audits on the rise, it is increasingly important for employers to stay current on the latest I-9 developments. Ideally, employers should begin using this form immediately. However, the notice offers employers additional time to update their business processes, which means employers can use the prior version dated July 17, 2017 until April 30, 2020. After April 30, 2020, employers must use the new version dated Oct. 21, 2019. Version dates are located in the lower left hand corner of the Form I-9. Additionally, employers should review the new instructions and update best practices accordingly.

Spanish version

A new Spanish version of the Form I-9 dated Oct. 21, 2019 is also available. This version of the form can ONLY be used in Puerto Rico.

Summary of changes

Changes to the fillable Form I-9 on electronic devices only:

  • A revised “Country of Issuance” field in Section 1
  • A revised “Issuing Authority” field in Section 2 to include Eswatini and Macedonia, North

Changes to Form I-9 instructions:

  • Clarification of who can act as an employer’s authorized representative 
  • Updated USCIS web addresses
  • Clarification on acceptable documents
  • Updated process for requesting paper Forms I-9
  • Updated DHS Privacy Notice

For more information on this topic, or to learn how Godfrey & Kahn can help with I-9 best practices, contact our Labor & Employment Law Practice Group.

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