News and Insights

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Written by: Lauren A. Crawford

On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) published a new edition of Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification (the “New Form I-9”). See USCIS, Announcements: What’s New, USCIS I-9 Central (Jan. 31, 2020) (available at USCIS ). Although the changes to Form I-9 are relatively minor, all employers must use the New Form I-9, beginning no later than May 1, 2020 or face potential penalties.

What is a Form I-9?
An employer uses a Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. An employer must complete a Form I-9 each time any person is hired to perform labor or to perform services in the United States in return for wages or other remuneration .

Do I have to use the New Form I-9?
Yes. All employers must use the New Form I-9, beginning no later than May 1, 2020. After April 30, 2020, any employer who fails to use the New Form I-9 may be subject to penalties under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1324(a), as enforced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

What is different about the New Form I-9?
USCIS made minor changes as follows: See Notice, 85 Fed. Reg. 5683 (Jan. 31, 2020).
Changes to the form:
The New Form I-9 now includes revised options in the “Country of Issuance” field in Section 1 and the “foreign passport issuing authority” field in Section 2 consistent with certain countries’ name changes. Id. These changes are only visible when completing the fillable New Form I-9 on a computer.

Changes to the instructions:

  • Clarified who may act as an employer’s authorized representative
  • Updated USCIS’ website address
  • Provided clarifications on “acceptable documents” for Form I-9
  • Updated the process for requesting a paper Form I-9
  • Updated the Department of Homeland Security’s Privacy Notice

USCIS also issued a revised handbook for employers, “Handbook for Employers M-274: Guidance for Completing Form I-9,” that includes the changes. The revised handbook is available on USCIS’ website and linked here.

Do I need to complete the New Form I-9 for existing employees?
No.  For current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file, employers do not need to complete a New Form I-9 unless reverification applies. 

Where can I get the New Form I-9?
Click on the links to access the New Form I-9 and instructions.  Additional forms, supplements, and Spanish-language versions (for use in Puerto Rico only) are available on USCIS’ website and linked here.

For additional information regarding the New Form I-9, please contact Lauren Crawford (  For other employment-related questions, please contact John Conley ( or Kylie Mote (