Department of Homeland Security
Hot Off The Press – New Form I-9 Compliance and Remote Verification Updates
Beginning August 1, 2023, E-Verify participating employers in good standing may use an optional, alternative procedure to examine Form I-9 documents. The alternative procedure allows a qualified employer (or authorized representative acting on an employer’s behalf) to remotely examine I-9 documents instead of examining the documents in person. Within three (3) business days of an employee’s first day of employment, their I-9 documents may be examined using the below alternative procedure:
- A copy of the Form I-9 document(s) (or an acceptable receipt) must first be sent by the employee and examined by a qualified employer (or their representative) to ensure the document(s) presented appear reasonably genuine;
- During a live video interaction, the employee must present the document(s) previously transmitted to the person reviewing the Form I-9 documentation to ensure that the document(s) appear to be reasonably genuine;
- The person reviewing the documentation must complete Form I-9 and select the option that an alternative procedure was used to complete Form I-9 verification (or re-verification); and
- A clear and legible copy of the documentation must be retained and available for examination in connection with an audit or investigation by a relevant federal government official.
The alternative procedure is optional and employers have the choice to continue physically reviewing all I-9 documents, offer the alternative procedure to all employees, or only to some employees (e.g., remote or hybrid employees) while continuing to physically review I-9 documents of in-person employees, so long as the practice chosen is implemented uniformly and not in a discriminatory fashion. Employers who are not enrolled in E-Verify may implement the alternative procedure upon enrolling in E-Verify and becoming a participant in good standing.
Employers that were enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities may use the alternative procedure to satisfy the requirement to physically examine the Form I-9 documentation that had been examined remotely under the flexibilities. Employers that were not enrolled in E-Verify at the time they performed a remote examination of an employee’s I-9 documents must physically examine the employee’s I-9 documents in the employee’s physical presence before August 30, 2023. Please note that beginning August 1, 2023, employers should begin using the new Form I-9 (Edition: 08/01/2023) but may use the prior Form I-9 (Edition: 10/21/2019) through October 31, 2023.