- DHS will allow remote Form I-9 document inspection starting August 1, 2023, for selected employers
- Employers may have the option of reviewing Form I-9 documents remotely
- Employers must meet certain conditions to be eligible for remote document inspection
- DHS plans to publish a revised Form I-9 on August 1, 2023, with the use of the new form becoming mandatory as of November 1, 2023
Starting on August 1, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will begin allowing remote I-9 document review in some instances.
Beginning in August, employers who are in “good standing” and have already enrolled in E-Verify will have the option of completing the Form I-9 document review process remotely through a video call rather than in person after the employee shares a copy of the document(s) with the employer for inspection.
Under the DHS-authorized alternative procedure, to conduct I-9 verification remotely, employers must:
- Be enrolled in E-Verify
- Examine the documents over a live video platform and retain clear and legible copies of all examined documents
- Conduct a live video interaction with the employee, and
- Create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire
What does the alternative procedure entail?
Within three business days of an employee’s first day of employment, a qualified employer (or an authorized representative acting on such an employer’s behalf, such as a third-party vendor) who chooses to use the alternative procedure must:
- Examine copies (front and back, if the document is two-sided) of Form I-9 documents or an acceptable receipt to ensure that the documentation presented reasonably appears to be genuine;
- Conduct a live video interaction with the individual presenting the document(s) to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears genuine and related to the individual. The employee must first transmit a copy of the document(s) to the employer (per Step 1 above) and then present the same document(s) during the live video interaction;
- Indicate on the Form I-9, by completing the corresponding box, that an alternative procedure was used to examine documentation to complete Section 2 or for re-verification, as applicable;
- Retain, consistent with applicable regulations, a clear and legible copy of the documentation (front and back if the documentation is two-sided); and
- In the event of a Form I-9 audit or investigation by a relevant federal government official, make available clear and legible copies of the employee’s identity and employment authorization documentation for document examination in connection with the employment eligibility verification process;
Temporary COVID-19 provisions allowing remote Form I-9 inspection will end on July 31, 2023. However, employers have a grace period to inspect Form I-9 documents through August 30, 2023. While some employers are able to take advantage of the new remote I-9 document inspection process, employers that do not meet the requirements above must physically inspect I-9 documents. Although employers have the option of inspecting Form I-9 documents remotely, they can also inspect them in person if they so choose.
Along with the update above, DHS has noted that it will introduce a new, more user-friendly Form I-9 on August 1, 2023. The new Form I-9 will be mandatory starting November 1, 2023. Additionally, DHS plans to launch a pilot program offering remote document inspection capabilities to a broader range of employers.
More information will be provided as available.
Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Dmitri Pikman, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: Department of Homeland Security (DHS) via the Federal Register