As expected, a new version of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form has been issued. The new version is dated 10/21/2019 but will not become mandatory until May 1.
Through April 30, employers can choose to use the previous edition dated 07/17/2017 or the new edition. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) publishes a paper I-9 Form and an electronic, fillable I-9 Form. The new version of the paper form has no changes from the prior version.
The form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must properly complete the Form I-9 for each person they hire for employment in the U.S., including both citizens and noncitizens. New hires and employers, or their authorized representatives, must complete the form. Employers must retain the completed forms for a designated period and make them available for inspection when called to do so.
Form I-9 Changes
The new edition of the form lists additional countries in the Country of Issuance field in Section 1, among other minor changes visible only when completing the electronic version of the form, including the following:
- Clarification on who can act as an authorized representative of an employer. Employers may designate anyone to be an authorized representative to complete Section 2, but the employer is still liable for any violations committed by the designated person. Unfortunately, employers face difficulties in completing I-9s for remotely hired workers, and needed more specific instructions which clarify who may serve as an authorized representative when completing the form.
- Clarifications pertaining to acceptable documents. Writing N/A in the identity document columns is no longer necessary. When entering document information in the List A column (or alternatively in the List B and C columns), you will not need to enter “N/A” in the columns which are not being used.
- The new form also clarifies that the form’s List C documents establishing employment authorization does not include a worker’s Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The List C documents include items like a Social Security card and birth certificate, while the EAD (Form I-766) providing temporary employment authorization to work in the United States is a List A document.