Deadline for Employers to Use New I-9


Deadline for Employers to Use New I-9

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) issued a new I-9 Form for employment eligibility verification. Employers must use this form starting no later than May 1, 2020 for all new employees and reverifications. Stop using prior versions of the form (i.e. Form “Rev.

07/17/2017 N”). Employers will be subject to penalties under the Immigration and Nationality Act if they fail to use the new I-9 Form after April 30, 2020. Attached are two of the new I-9 Forms – one that is fillable and one that you can print and fill out. Or, you can



An employer that fails to ensure proper completion and retention of I-9 Forms may face monetary penalties and, possibly criminal penalties. And Employers must keep the I-9 Forms throughout the employment and for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date the employment ended, whichever is later.


Employers must make I-9 Forms available for inspection upon request by officers of the DHS, the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division (“DOJ”), and the Department of Labor (“DOL”). These agencies often show up at the Employer’s office and demand to see the I-9 Forms. Employers must make available to the DHS, DOJ and/or DOL all pages of the I-9 Forms, instructions and List of Acceptable Documents. So, if the documents are electronically maintained, be sure to scan ALL pages, including the instructions given to the employees to fill out the form.


How The I-9 Form Has Changed:

Eswatini and North Macedonia were added to the County of Issuance field in Section 1 and the foreign passport issuing authority field in Section 2 because of those countries’ recent name changes. The remaining changes are in the instructions. The I-9 Form instructions clarify that the employer can designate any person as an authorized representative of an Employer to complete the I-9 Form, Section 2, which makes remote hiring easier in this day of Coronavirus remote working. But the Employer remains liable for any violations committed by the authorized representative. So, prudence would require review of the form by a knowledgeable home office representative. Another instruction change is the Privacy Notice, stating that the I- 9 Form may (read that – will) be made available for inspection, and that DHS may also share the information on the form for law enforcement purposes or in the interest of national security.


The website address was updated and acceptable document clarifications delineate that the List C Employment Authorization Document issued by DHS (List C, item 7) “does not include the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)” from List A and that the List B “ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities, listed as B2,” does not include a “Driver’s license or ID card issued by a State or outlying possession of the United States” described in B1 of the List of Acceptable Documents.” Employees must decide what documents to use to establish employment authorization. And remember that an employer must allow the prospective employee to choose from the denoted List of Acceptable Documents.


Don’t re-do Prior I-9s:

Employers should not prepare new I-9s for current employees who already properly completed the prior form. Employers who unnecessarily require reverifications may be found liable for up to $10,000 for each violation under a California Labor Code that prohibits unfair immigration practices, including reverifying the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by specified federal law.


Exceptions to required I-9s:

Employers are not required to complete Form I-9 for:


  • Causal domestic service employees working in a private household when the work is sporadic, irregular or intermittent;
  • True independent contractors for whom the employer does not set work hours or provide tools to do the job; or
  • Employees working outside the United

Please call to discuss whether a worker is truly an independent contractor.


And, please feel free to contact Dawn with any questions:

Epps & Coulson, LLP


Attorneys Admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, Oregon, and Hawaii