Employers Must Use New Version of Form I-9 by May 1, 2020

Regulations

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – a government agency overseeing lawful immigration to the United States – published a new Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification with a version date of “10/21/2019.” Employers must use the new version of the Form I-9 by May 1, 2020.

The USCIS – an agency of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – instructed employers to begin using the new version of the Form I-9 as of January 31, 2020, but is allowing the use of the prior version of the form with a version date of “07/17/2017 N” until April 30, 2020. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.

Since the USCIS made some changes to the Form I-9 and its instructions, the agency is providing employers with additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. In addition, a revised Spanish version of the Form I-9 with a version date of “10/21/2019” is available for use in Puerto Rico only.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires employers to complete the Form I-9 for all newly-hired employees to verify their identity and their eligibility to work in the United States. Both employees and employers must complete the form. To access the new version of the Form I-9, visit www.uscis.gov/i-9.

On March 18, 2020, the USCIS temporarily suspended routine in-person services until April 7, 2020, and later extended the closure to May 4, 2020, to help slow the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). USCIS will continue to provide limited emergency services. For assistance with emergency services, visit the USCIS Contact Center.

On March 20, 2020, the DHS – a cabinet department of the United States federal government with responsibilities in public security – announced it would exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements for the Form I-9 implemented by employers and employees related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence,” according to a news release distributed by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

On April 9, 2020, EMP Trust HR – a valued partner of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – will present a webinar titled “How To Onboard Remote Hires Using I-9 Remote Solution?” from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM PST to help employers hire remote workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. To register for the webinar, click here.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global provider of background checks – is using background check best practices during the Coronaviris crisis, which involves employees working remotely in full compliance with information security policies. To learn more about ESR, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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