Labor & Employment Law Daily Form I-9, employment eligibility verification, gets an update
Monday, February 3, 2020

Form I-9, employment eligibility verification, gets an update

By Pamela Wolf, J.D.

Employers may use the new form beginning when it is published in the Federal Register; the old version will become obsolete and invalid 90 days later.

The DHS U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which employers must use to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. USCIS has made minor changes to the form and its instructions, according to the notice slated for publication in the Federal Register January 31.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, with a version date of “(Rev. 10/21/2019)” is available for use beginning on the date of its publication in the Federal Register. The prior version (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) will be obsolete and invalid effective 90 days later. Employers that fail to use Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/2019) after the prior version becomes obsolete may be subject to all applicable penalties under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1324a, as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The new version will posted when on the USCIS I-9 webpage when it becomes available.

Changes in the new version. USCIS noted that in the newly updated Form I-9, the agency added Eswatini and North Macedonia to the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the foreign passport issuing authority field in Section 2, per those countries’ recent name changes. These changes are only visible when completing the fillable Form I-9 on a computer, however.

USCIS also updated the following in the form instructions:

  • Clarified who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
  • Updated USCIS website addresses
  • Provided acceptable document clarifications
  • Updated the process for requesting the paper Form I-9
  • Updated the DHS Privacy Notice

Current employees. Employers will not need to complete the new Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/2019) for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file, unless reverification applies. Note that unnecessary verification may violate the INA’s antidiscrimination provision (Section 274B, 8 U.S.C. 1324b), which is enforced by the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

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