USCIS Has Created A New I-9 Form And A New Remote Examination Option

Volume: 22 | Issue: 35
July 24, 2023

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new form will be available on August 1, 2023, and employers must transition to using it by November 1, 2023. The new Form I-9, with a version date of “(Rev. 08/01/23),” has the following changes:

  • It reduces Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet;
  • It is designed to be a fillable form on tablets and mobile devices;
  • It moves the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees when necessary;
  • It moves Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required;
  • It 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; and
  • It 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.

More detail about these changes can be found in USCIS’ Notice entitled Introduction of a New Version of Employment Eligibility Verification Form.

As you transition to this new I-9 Form, remember that the flexibilities permitted during the pandemic end on July 31, 2023. If you remotely inspected employees’ identity and employment authorization documents during the pandemic, you have until August 30, 2023, to complete in-person, physical document inspections for those employees.

The good news is that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has now amended its regulations to allow alternatives to the in-person physical document examination requirement. DHS states: “This rule responds to lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, which demonstrated the substantial practical benefits of an optional alternative to the physical documentation examination procedures required by the employment eligibility verification regulations.” This new remote examination procedure is currently available only to those employers who are enrolled in E-Verify and participate in E-Verify in good standing.

If you choose to use the alternative remote procedure with new employees, you must do so consistently for all employees at that site. You may choose to offer the remote procedure for remote hires only and continue to apply physical examination procedures to all employees who work onsite or in a hybrid capacity, so long as you do not adopt such a practice for a discriminatory purpose or treat employees differently based on a protected characteristic, i.e., their citizenship, immigration status, or national origin. “Under no circumstances can employers unlawfully discriminate, such as by deciding who is eligible for the alternative procedure based on a protected characteristic.”

More information about the new remote procedure can be found in the Final Rule published by DHS entitled Optional Alternatives to the Physical Document Examination Associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Employers who were participating in E-Verify and created a case for employees whose documents were examined during the COVID-19 flexibilities (March 20, 2020 to July 31, 2023), may choose to use the new alternative remote procedure to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by Aug. 30, 2023.

KZA attorneys can help you navigate these changes. If you have questions or need assistance, please contact us.

KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.

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