Over the last few months, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has left employers in the dark without any new guidance in the lead-up to the expiration of its relaxed remote inspection standards for Form I9 employment eligibility documents, as applied to remote employees. With the expiration of these relaxed standards, employers will be required to physically inspect all employment eligibility documents for new remote employees and will need to go back and physically inspect all such documents for employees whose documents were remotely inspected under the relaxed standards.
The day after the expiration of the relaxed standards, on August 1, 2023, USCIS will publish a revised Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which provides an alternative for certain employers to remotely examine Form I-9 documents. In order to participate in this option, employers must be enrolled in E-Verify, examine and retain copies of all documents, conduct a live video interaction with the employee, and create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire.
Employers who were participating in E-Verify and created a case for employees whose documents were examined during COVID-19 flexibilities (March 20, 2020 to July 31, 2023), may choose to use the new alternative procedure starting on August 1, 2023 to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by Aug. 30, 2023. Employers who were not enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities must complete an in-person physical examination by Aug. 30, 2023.
The revised Form I-9 (edition date 08/01/23) will be published on uscis.gov on Aug. 1, 2023. Employers can use the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) through Oct. 31, 2023. Starting Nov. 1, 2023, all employers must use the new Form I-9.
The revised Form I-9 also includes a number of other updates:
– Reduces Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet;
– Is designed to be a fillable form on tablets and mobile devices;
– Moves the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees when necessary;
– Moves Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required;
– Revises the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation;
– Reduces Form instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages; and
– Includes a checkbox allowing employers to indicate they examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination.
If you have any questions about the new Form I-9, or questions about how to verify the employment eligibility documents, please contact your Kunzler, Bean & Adamson Attorneys.
* As of April 1, 2022, physical verification requirements applied to all employees who physically report to work at a company location.
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