Update: New Form I-9 and Rule for Remote Inspection of Documents

By: Tiara Quintana , Daniel J. McCoy

Effective August 1, 2023, employers participating in E-Verify in good standing have the option to conduct remote inspections of Form I-9 documents, pursuant to the federal Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) new rule. Under this alternative to the in-person inspection requirement, qualified employers can examine copies of approved I-9 documents, and conduct a live video conference to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears genuine. Employers must retain clear and legible copies of the I-9 documents presented. A qualified employer that chooses to adopt the remote inspection procedures must do so consistently for all remote employees tethered to the E-Verify hiring site. The employer must continue traditional in-person inspections and verifications for employees working on-site in a full-time or hybrid capacity.

The new rule allows certain qualified employers to use the remote inspection procedures to satisfy the re-inspection procedures for employees hired during the COVID-19 pandemic, and whose I-9 documentation the employer examined remotely. To utilize remote re-inspection, the employer must be currently enrolled in E-Verify, and (i) have been enrolled in E-Verify at the time the remote examination was performed, (ii) created an E-Verify case for the employee and (iii) performed the remote inspection between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023. Employers that do not meet all of these requirements must conduct the re-inspection in person, as we explained in our previous alert. Regardless of conducting a remote or in-person inspection, employers must complete the re-inspection by August 31, 2023.

In addition to the promulgation of this new rule, DHS and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have created a new Form I-9. The new, streamlined form includes a checkbox for qualified employers to indicate when they have remotely inspected and examined I-9 documents. The new Form I-9 is available now, and must be used for all new hires beginning November 1, 2023.

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