Beginning August 1, 2023, a new I-9 form will be put in place by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that employers should use. While employers may continue to use the prior 10/21/19 version of the I-9 form until October 31, 2023 to streamline their business practices, use of the old version after that date will subject employers to penalties. A copy of the current version of the I-9 form may be found at www.uscis.gov/i-9.
What is the purpose of the new I-9 form?
The new I-9 form was created to continue to provide increased flexibility to employers in dealing with the increase of remote workers following the COVID-19 pandemic. The new form will allow employers to document use of a remote alternate procedure for document verification, provided the employer qualifies to use that process. To use the new alternate procedure and forego in-person physical inspection of I-9 documents, employers must meet the following
- Be E-Verify participants in good standing;
- Maintain clear and legible copies of all documents presented for the Form I-9;
- Complete training through E-Verify. This is accessible for free as part of the E-Verify enrollment process; and
- Have the employee transmit copies of the documents, followed by a live video interaction with the employee following transmission of the documents. NOTE: This interaction must offer at least an equivalent level of security to physical document examination.
For employers using the new process, simply write in “alternative procedure” in the “Additional Information” field of Section 2 of the new I-9.
What about my employees that started during the pandemic?
For employers with employees who were verified under COVID-19 Form I-9 flexibilities set to expire on July 31, 2023, no new verification is required provided the employee:
- Was enrolled in E-Verify at the time of hire;
- The employer created an E-Verify case for that employee; and
- The employer performed the remote inspection of the employee’s I-9 documents between March 20, 2020 and July 31, 2023.
If these conditions are NOT met, the employer will have to physically inspect the documentation of those hires before August 30, 2023.
If you are an employer that has more questions about the new I-9 process, your document retention obligations under I-9, or data privacy and security concerns related to the new I-9 process, contact Fox Smith at 314-588-7000.