New I-9 Form and Remote Verification Option for Certain Employers Enrolled in E-Verify

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a new Form I-9, the form all US employers must use to verify the identity and work authorization of all paid employees within the first three days of their employment.

The new form will be available for use on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website on August 1, but employers may use either the new or the current edition of the I-9 through October 31, 2023. The new I-9 has been reformatted so that both Section 1 (the employee section) and Section 2 (the employer section) are on the same page and the translator/interpreter section and the reverification section have been moved to separate pages. In addition, the List of Acceptable Documents has a new section explaining which Receipt Notices are acceptable.

Generally, employers must physically examine the documents employees present to complete their I-9 forms in person. During the COVID-19 pandemic, DHS allowed employers who were fully operating remotely to examine documents remotely by email, video call, etc. Those COVID flexibilities are set to expire July 31, 2023, and, starting on August 1, 2023, all new hires must present their I-9 documents to their employers for in-person physical inspection. Further, all hires that were remotely inspected under the COVID-19 flexibilities are required to be reverified through an in-person inspection by August 30, 2023.

However, DHS just issued a new rule, effective August 1, 2023, allowing employers to use an alternative procedure (remote inspection) so long as the employer is enrolled in and utilizing E-Verify with respect to all US hiring sites using such alternative procedures. That alternative procedure allows the employer to inspect I-9 documents remotely through a live video conference. The newly hired employee must transmit a copy of the I-9 documents to the employer first (through email, for example), and then must show the same documents during the live video conference. The employer must keep copies of the documents presented. The employer must check the box on Section 2 of the new version of the I-9 form or if the current edition is used, write “Alternative Procedure” in the additional information field along with the date of the video inspection, to indicate that this alternate, remote method was used.

This remote method is an option. Employers can choose to require physical in-person inspection but must remain consistent to avoid discrimination. If the remote inspection method is offered, it must be offered for all employees at the entire hiring site. In addition, if an employee is unable or unwilling to use the remote method, the employer must allow physical inspection.

Employers can use this remote video method to conduct the COVID-19 reverification only if they were enrolled in E-Verify when the initial inspection was done remotely under the COVID-19 flexibilities.

Please contact Berin Romagnolo or Nancy Noonan with any questions.


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