USCIS has announced a new version of Form I-9 after almost three years. This update is released in January 2020, after the approval from the Office of Management & Budget. Employers can switch to this new version immediately. However, USCIS provides a grace period so that employers can make necessary updates and ensure a hassle-free transition to the new version. So, you can use the existing version till April 30th, 2020, after which it is a MUST to use the new one.
Though an I-9 update is pending from USCIS since August 2019, the new version doesn't include any updates in the form, except for the changes in version (10/21/2019) and expiry dates. In fact, it just provides clarity about a few instructions. No, there is no change in the instructions that can simplify I-9 completion. Employers are still responsible for completion of form within three days from employment start date.
Employment eligibility Form or simply Form I-9 is the most complex form for many employers. Employers use this form to verify their employees' employment authorization in the United States. USCIS mandates completion of this form within three days from employee's start date, failure of which will make the employer liable for penalties.
Employers and employees must complete the I-9 based on the specifications. Employees are responsible for providing supporting documentation regarding their identity and eligibility, while employers are responsible for physical verification of these documents.
It is a major challenge for employers to keep up with all the updates in I-9s. Missing even one update will make the organization liable for huge penalties during an ICE audit. This article will help you in understanding all the updates of I-9 Form.
The version date of the new Form I-9 is 10/21/2019 and is located on the lower left corner of the form.
The new version of the Form I-9 expires on 10/31/2022, which is indicated on the top right corner of the form.
Usage of new form is optional until April 30th, 2020, after which it is a MUST to use it. However, the form is currently available and is approved for use immediately.
The new Form I-9 doesn't include any updates in the form except for the version dates. However, there a few minor changes in the online form. Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 now include Eswatini and Macedonia, North as per those countries' recent name changes.
Employers may download the new Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/2019) from the USCIS website.
For a smoother transition to the new version of I-9, USCIS provided a grace period during which employers can use the existing version. That is until April 30th, 2020, after which one should switch to the version dated 10/21/2019 to stay compliant.
You should NEVER complete a new Form I-9 for current employees, just because a new version is released.
Yes, USCIS has updated instructions in assigning authorized representative. It goes 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.
If you enter document information in the List A column, you should not enter document information or N/A in the List B or List C columns.
Are you getting confused with all the Updates that you can't keep track of? Well, OnBlick can help you. Staying compliant is not just about process, it is all about doing the process right every time. Completion of Form I-9s with an incorrect version will lead to more penalties.
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This Cap Season 2020-21, focus on your filings and leave the Onboarding experience with Form I-9 to OnBlick, and stay compliant.