Changes to Form 1-9 and New Options for Employers to Remotely Examine Employees’ Documents

SESCO Management Consultants

USCIS and DHS Announce a Revised Form I-9 and a New Option for Employers to Remotely Examine Employees’ Documents

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) has announced that a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification will be available starting August 1, 2023. The current version can be used through October 31, 2023; however, as of November 1, 2023, only the revised version may be used.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) has announced that employers who are enrolled in E-Verify will have the option to remotely examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents. The revised Form I-9 will have a checkbox designated for E-Verify-enrolled employers to indicate when the employer has remotely examined an employee’s documents. This new flexibility option also goes into effect on August 1, 2023.

To take advantage of the new option for remotely verifying employees’ identity and employment authorization documents, the employer 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.

DHS is considering expanding these flexibilities to even more employers, but for now, employers who are not enrolled in E-Verify must comply with DHS’s previous deadline of August 30, 2023, to perform all required physical examination of identity and employment authorization documents for employees hired on or after March 20, 2020, if the employee’s documents were examined only virtually or remotely as was permitted under prior COVID-19 temporary flexibilities.

In its announcement, USCIS also highlights the following new features of the Form I-9:

  • Sections 1 and 2 are consolidated into a single page.
  • The I-9 is available as a fillable form on tablets and mobile devices.
  • The “Preparer/Translator Certification” section is now a standalone supplement of the form, permitting employers to provide employees a copy of that single page as needed.
  • Section 3 for reverifications and rehires is now a standalone supplement of the form that employers can print whenever a rehire or reverification is required.
  • “Acceptable Documents” include receipt notices for certain filings that automatically extend employment authorization, along with related guidance and links to information.
  • The form instructions are reduced from 15 pages to 8 pages.
  • A checkbox has been added for employers enrolled in E-Verify to use in performing remote examination of employees’ identity and employment authorization documents (as previously noted above).

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