On July 21, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) published a new, optional procedure allowing remote, rather than in-person, physical examination of documents for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Dubbed the “Remote Form I-9 Alternative Procedure,” this option is only available to employers enrolled in the E-Verify system that are in good standing starting August 1, 2023.
To conduct Form I-9 document verification remotely, eligible employers need to ask employees to transmit a copy of their identification documents. Upon receipt, the employer is required to conduct a live video meeting with the employee where the employer verifies the previously submitted documents. Employers in good standing with E-Verify are also allowed to use an authorized representative or a third-party vendor to inspect the employee’s documents.
On August 1, 2023, DHS will also be publishing a revised Form I-9 which will include a checkbox for employers enrolled in E-Verify to indicate they remotely examined the identity and employment documents. Employers may continue using the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) until October 31, 2023. However, from November 1, 2023, the new Form I-9 that is being published on August 1, 2023, is mandatory for all employers.
Employers that used E-Verify to verify Form I-9 documents remotely during the COVID-19 remote inspection flexibility period (from March 20, 2020, to July 31, 2023) need to complete the physical document inspection component by August 30, 2023, either in person or remotely via a video conferencing platform such as ZOOM, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Skype, etc. Employers that were not enrolled in E-Verify during the temporary COVID-19 flexibility period must conduct an in-person examination by August 30, 2023.
Employers not participating in E-Verify would benefit from reviewing our recent Employment Law Alert which details how employers can use an “authorized representative” for Form I-9 compliance and offer insights into how to complete the Form I-9.
The full text of the Remote Form I-9 Alternative Procedure can be accessed here.
If you have any questions about this Alert, we encourage you to contact your Shulman Rogers attorney for solutions and recommendations.
The contents of this Alert are for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about this Alert, please contact the Shulman Rogers attorney with whom you regularly work or a member of the Shulman Rogers Employment and Labor Law Group.
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