Keeping Up with the Times: Make Sure You’re Using the Correct Form I-9

To ring-in the new year, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9 (which you can access HERE). The new I-9 was officially released on January 31, 2020, and employers should begin using it immediately. It contains minor changes to the form itself and the instructions. According to the USCIS, the changes include:

  • Revision of the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per those countries’ recent name changes;
  • Clarification of who can act as an authorized representative on behalf of an employer;
  •  Updates to the USCIS website addresses;
  • Clarifications on acceptable documents for Form I-9;
  • Updates to the process for requesting paper Forms I-9; and
  • Updates to the DHS Privacy Notice

If you haven’t started using the new Form I-9, don’t panic! The USCIS allows employers a three-month grace period, during which the old form (dated 07/17/2017) may be used. This means that you must use only the new Form I-9 beginning on May 1, 2020.

For more information about the I-9 process and acceptable USCIS procedures (and a free webinar!), the I-9 Central site is a great resource:


This article is not legal advice but should be considered as general guidance in the area of employment and corporate law. Amy DieterichJordan Payne Hay, and James F. Pross are employment and labor law attorneys; others at the firm handle business and other matters.

 Since 1853, Skelton Taintor & Abbott has provided a full range of high-quality legal services to individuals, companies, and municipalities of Maine. The firm’s main office is located in Auburn and in January 2019, a mid-coast office was opened in Waldoboro. You can contact us at 207.784.3200, or by visiting