U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to release an updated version of Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification, on August 1, 2023. Employers and HR professionals should be aware of these changes to ensure compliance with the updated Form I-9 requirements and take advantage of the new features for seamless verification.
This blog provides information about the upcoming release of the revised Form I-9 and highlights the new features and improvements it will bring to the Employment Eligibility Verification process.
This revision brings several improvements to the form, including a new checkbox specifically for employers enrolled in E-Verify. The checkbox allows them to indicate that they have remotely examined identity and employment authorization documents using an alternative procedure authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
On July 21, 2023, the DHS announced a final rule in the Federal Register, indicating the conclusion of temporary COVID-19 flexibilities as of July 31. As a result, the DHS now has the authority to authorize optional alternatives for employers to examine Form I-9 documentation. Alongside this announcement, the DHS also published a document in the Federal Register outlining and authorizing the use of an alternative procedure for employers enrolled in E-Verify to examine their employees’ identity and employment authorization documents remotely.
This alternative procedure allows certain employers to conduct remote examinations of Form I-9 documents, eliminating the need for in-person verification. To participate in this process, employers must be enrolled in E-Verify and adhere to specific requirements, including examining and retaining copies of all documents, conducting a live video interaction with the employee, and creating an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire.
Employers who were using E-Verify and created cases for employees during the COVID-19 flexibilities period (March 20, 2020, to July 31, 2023) can choose to adopt the new alternative procedure from August 1, 2023, until August 30, 2023, to fulfill the physical document examination requirement. However, employers not enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities period must complete in-person physical examinations by August 30, 2023.
Addition of a checkbox allowing employers to indicate remote examination of Form I-9 documentation under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure, instead of physical examination.
The revised Form I-9 (edition date 08/01/23) will be available on uscis.gov from August 1, 2023. Until October 31, 2023, employers can continue using the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19). However, starting November 1, 2023, all employers must switch to the new Form I-9 for their employment eligibility verification processes.