The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new, streamlined version of the Form I-9 today.

In conjunction with the initial announcement of the revised Form I-9 on July 21, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security issued a rule on July 25, 2023, that continues to allow for remote I-9 documentation verification (which began during the COVID-19 pandemic) in certain instances.

New Form I-9

The new Form I-9 is now available. Employers may continue using the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) until October 31, 2023. Starting Nov. 1, 2023, all employers must use the new Form I-9 or risk monetary penalties.

According to the USCIS, 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, Reverification 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.
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Remote Verification Process

During the pandemic, employers who were operating remotely were permitted to inspect the verification documents remotely, while obtaining and retaining copies of the documents within three business days. In May 2023, ICE announced that the Form I-9 remote verification would expire on July 31, 2023, and would employers had until August 30, 2023, to conduct in-person, physical re-verification of all documents that had been examined remotely using the COVID-19 flexibilities.

The DHS ruling issued on July 25, 2023, stated that employers who meet four requirements may choose an alternative procedure in lieu of physically examining Form I-9 documentation that was previously examined remotely.

To qualify for the alternative procedure, the employer must have:

  1. performed remote examination of an employee’s documents between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023;
  2. been enrolled in E-Verify at the time they completed the Form I-9 for that employee;
  3. created a case in E-Verify for that employee (except for re-verification); and
  4. be currently enrolled in and continue to participate in E-Verify.

Employers who don’t meet all four requirements must complete the in-person physical document examination by the August 30, 2023, deadline.

This article is intended as general information and does not constitute legal advice. 

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