The New Form I-9 Has Been Released

The New Form I-9 Has Been Released and Must Be Used as of May 1, 2020. Plus, I-9 Document Review Requirements are Temporarily Relaxed During COVID-19 Crisis.

The new version of the Form I-9, which must be used by all employers to verify that new hires are eligible to work in the U.S., was issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services department (USCIS) on January 31, 2020.

The changes to the form may be difficult to detect at first glance, as many of them are administrative in nature, such as:

  • Clarifying who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer
  • Updating USCIS website addresses
  • Providing clarifications on acceptable documents
  • Updating the process for requesting paper forms
  • Updating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Privacy Notice

Nevertheless, as of May 1, 2020, all employers must use the new version of the Form I-9, which can be identified by the 10/21/2019 version date located in the lower left corner of the form. The prior version of the form may be used until April 30 or employers can begin using the new form right away.

You can access the new Form I-9 in all available formats, including paper or fillable PDF, plus the I-9 instructions and preparer and/or translator certification by clicking here.

DHS has announced that employers who are operating remotely during the COVID-19 crisis may defer the in-person, physical examination of the documents required as part of the Form I-9 certification process.

However, the following requirements apply:

  • Employers must still obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2 of the Form I-9, but the documents may be examined remotely (via video link, fax or email, etc.)
  • After the remote inspection, employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the “Additional Information” field in Section 2 of the Form I-9.
  • Employers who use this option must provide written documentation of their remote on-boarding and telework policy for each employee.
  • This option only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, in-person inspection of the documentation must take place.
  • Once normal operations resume, all employees who were on-boarded using remote verification must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of their documentation. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection in the “Additional Information” field in Section 2 of the Form I-9.
  • This remote document examination option will remain in effect until May 19, 2020, or until three business days after termination of the COVID-19 National Emergency, whichever is earlier. 

If you have questions about the new I-9 Form or the relaxed document review requirements during the COVID-19 crisis, or would like assistance with any other HR matter, please call our office at 631-794-7400 to speak with one of our HR Business Partners, or email us at