Washington: On Aug. 1, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will publish a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Among the improvements to the form is a checkbox employers enrolled in E-Verify can use to indicate they remotely examined identity and employment authorization documents under an alternative procedure authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
DHS on July 21 announced a final rule in the Federal Register that recognizes the end of temporary Covid-19 flexibilities as of July 31 and provides DHS the authority to authorize optional alternatives for employers to examine Form I-9 documentation.
At the same time, DHS also published an accompanying document in the Federal Register describing and authorizing employers enrolled in E-Verify the option to remotely examine their employees’ identity and employment authorization documents under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure.
The Federal Register document provides an alternative for certain employers to remotely examine Form I-9 documents, instead of the current requirement to examine documents in-person. To participate in the remote examination of Form I-9 documents under the DHS-authorized alternative procedure, 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.
The revised Form I-9:
- 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, Re-verification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or re-verification 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.
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.