By Jennifer Pawlak

That’s right – finally! The new form and updated instructions can be found here:

The form itself is substantively unchanged – great news (depending on what you think of the old form)! And some of the instructions have actually been clarified – great news again!

The new version has a 10/21/19 revision date and can be used starting today, or you can continue to use the 07/17/17 N version until April 30. However, starting May 1, you may only use the new form. Penalties exist for using an outdated form. I’ve previously advised that you go to the USCIS website each time you need to fill out a form, and that hasn’t changed, especially now that there is a new form, so be 100% sure you’re using the correct form. And remember that you don’t need to update forms for existing employees, just use the new form for new hires after today. If you use an electronic vendor for your I-9s, whether it be a stand alone product or included in your HRIS, pay close attention in the coming days and weeks to make sure that the form has been updated and is included in your software.

  • A question I get very regularly is about authorized representatives for Section 2 completion (in the case of remote workers). The rule itself is not any different, but the USCIS has clarified the instructions as follows:
    You may designate an authorized representative to act on your behalf to complete Section 2. 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 to act on your behalf.

  • They have also clarified that you don’t need to fill in “N/A” for unused fields in Section 2.

  • A helpful tool in the instructions is found on 8-11 where there are abbreviations listed for each possible document. Don’t guess – check the instructions!

  • If you complete Section 3 for rehires or reverifications, do it on the new form and staple it to the previously completed old form. It’s just cleaner that way.

I do encourage you to carefully read over the updated form and instructions for information that pertains directly to your business or the types of documents you see. You might learn something, or at least reaffirm what you already know!

Any questions? Please let me know!

Above information valid as of January 31, 2020