As expected, a new edition of the I-9 employment eligibility verification form has been issued for public use. The new edition is dated 10/21/2019 and will become mandatory on May 1, 2020. Through April 30, 2020, employers can continue to use the previous edition of Form I-9, dated 07/17/2017. For validation, employers can confirm that they are using the current and correct edition of the form by checking the form date in the lower left corner, which should read 10/21/2019, and the expiration date in the upper right corner, which should read 10/31/2022.
All U.S. employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for every employee hired in order to verify that the individual is authorized for employment in the United States under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). Employers must use the new edition of the Form for all new hires and for re-verifying current employees with expiring employment authorization documentation. Employers should not complete new Forms for existing employees who do not require re-verification. Employers must retain the completed forms for a designated period and make them available for inspection when called to do so.
A best practice would be for employers to begin using the new edition of the form immediately.
What has changed on the new Form I-9?
The new edition of Form I-9 lists additional countries in the Country of Issuance field in Section 1, among other minor changes which are visible only when a user completes the fillable form on a computer.
Other revisions to Form I-9 instructions include:
- Clarification on who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer;
- Updated USCIS website addresses;
- Clarifications pertaining to acceptable documents;
- An updated process for requesting the paper Form I-9; and
- An update to the DHS Privacy Notice.
Included in the instructions the Department of Homeland Security claims a clarification of who may be an “authorized representative.” A review of the actual changes on the form reveal no such clarification, but do show a reminder to the ultimate responsible party: “An authorized representative can be any person you designate to complete and sign Form I-9 on your behalf. You are liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violations of the employer sanctions laws committed by the person designated on your behalf.”
In other words, an employer can designate anyone they like to complete their section of the form, but remain ultimately liable for ANY violation whether technical or substantive. None of these changes institute new policy, but do serve as a not-so-gentle reminder for employers.
In summary, the new forms are available now at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9 and employers may continue to use the current form until April 30, 2020. Regardless of the forms used, employers should take great care in designating a third party to complete these forms as DHS has made clear where the ultimate responsibility flows. If you have any questions about the new Form I-9 or other employment verification issues, please contact HR On-Call.
A little more about us: Susan Arnold, owner and lead HR Consultant at HR On-Call, LLC. Susan has 20+ years of HR experience and provides a HR presence to business organizations without the overhead expense of a full-time employee. Susan helps business owners improve employer/employee relationships and allows them to focus on their business while resting assured that they are in full compliance with state and federal law. Areas of expertise:
- Reduce Employer Risk and Liability
- Customized Employee Handbooks
- Performance Reviews
- Improve Employee/Employer Relationships
- Background Checks
- Personality Assessments
- Guaranteed EEO Compliance
- Employee Retention
- Recruitment / Hiring
- Employee Discipline/Discharge
Susan is passionate about her customers and listens to their needs. If you are interested in any of the details above or would like more information about her services, please contact Susan! If you have questions on how your specific policy should read or need help navigating a certain instance, contact HR On-Call, LLC.