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New Form I-9 Required May 1, 2020

By Laura Pokrzywa, HR Consultant, East Coast Risk Management

Form I-9

While we have all been focused on managing changes due to the pandemic, the deadline for using the new Form I-9 has snuck up on us. 

Starting Friday, May 1, 2020, the new version of Form I-9 (dated 10/21/2019) must be used (available here). The new form has a few changes including clarification of acceptable documents, clarification of who can act as an authorized representative of the employer, updates to website addresses for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and also updates to the DHS Privacy Notice.

As we continue to deal with the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) relaxed requirements announced in March continue. The DHS’ website says, “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.”

They give the following steps:

  1. Employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.
  2. Once normal operations resume, physical inspection should take place within 3 days of the employee reporting to the worksite and the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 Additional Information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate. Employers should also enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay.

If you need a little help completing Form I-9, check out the free instructional webinars from USCIS.


If you are an employer that has questions on any issue relating to human resources, safety, or workers’ compensation, contact East Coast Risk Management by calling 724-864-8745 or emailing us at

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