Starting May 1, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is requiring employers to use the latest version of its Form I-9 – Employment Verification Eligibility.
• The latest version is dated 10/21/2019 and has an expiration date of 10/31/2022.*
• The latest version is available by following the instructions for downloads at https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.
• Instructions are available at https://www.uscis.gov/system/files_force/files/form/i-9instr.pdf?download=1
Employers must complete Form I-9 to document their verification of the identity and employment authorization of each new employee (both citizen and noncitizen) hired to work in the United States.
All of the I-9 rules and regulations are the same: The employee must complete page 1, Section 1. An authorized representative of the employer must review original identification documents to establish the identity and employment eligibility of the employee before completing page 2, Section 2.
Employers may designate anyone—personnel officers, foremen, supervisors, agents, or notaries—to review the employee’s documents and complete page 2. DHS does not require the authorized representative to have specific agreements or other documentation from the employer to complete the form.
A notary public may act as an employer’s authorized representative; however, the form does NOT require notarization and the notary is NOT acting in his or her official capacity as a notary when completing the form. See PAN’s Practical Guide for Notaries Public in Pennsylvania, 31st Edition, Page 107.
DHS clarifies in the instructions that an employer’s authorized representative can be “any person you designate to complete and sign Form I-9 on your behalf.”
In the interest of public health issues raised by COVID-19, DHS will consider “any person” even to include a family member or household member. The employer must take steps to ensure that the person understands the obligation and takes the responsibility seriously. The instructions remind the employer that, “You are liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violation of the employer sanctions laws committed by the person designated to act on your behalf.”
*From Jan. 31 to Apr. 30, employers could use either the 07/17/2019 N edition or the 10/21/2019 edition. Now, all employers are required to use the 10/21/2019 edition.