The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) recently published a new edition of its Form I-9, which can be found here. Employers may use this new edition voluntarily until October 31, 2023 (employers also may continue to use the prior edition of the Form I-9 until this date, if they choose). As of November 1, 2023, all employers will be required to use the new Form I-9.
To verify that you are using the new Form I-9, check the bottom left-hand corner of the form for the issue date. You should see “Form I-9 Edition 08/01/23.”
The changes to the newest edition of the Form I-9 are relatively minor. The document has been updated to fit Sections 1 and 2 onto a single page. Other sections – for example, what was formerly Section 3 – are now separate supplements.
A more useful portion of the updated form relates to reviewing documentation for remote workers. The new edition adds a checkbox and the following statement: “Check here if you used an alternative procedure authorized by DHS to examine documents.” This "alternative procedure" accommodates an employer's need to verify documents on a remote basis under certain conditions.
At this time, the new checkbox option is available only to employers who are voluntarily participating in the E-Verify process and are currently in good standing at the hiring location for which the remote verification (E-Verify) process will be used. There is no cost to use E-Verify. Employers can learn more about E-Verify at www.E-Verify.gov or click here. Further information about the alternate verification process can be found here.
For employers that do not participate in E-Verify, remember that the standard I-9 verification process requires employers to "examine their employee’s documentation in their physical presence.” Also remember that for any employers who availed themselves of the temporary COVID-19 flexibility policies (allowing for remote verification of I-9 documentation between March 20, 2020 and July 31, 2023), you have until August 30, 2023, to perform the required in-person re-verification of the original identity and right-to-work documentation for those employees that were remotely verified during the temporary COVID-19 flexibility period.
For questions regarding new hire documentation, or assistance with other employment law issues, contact the attorneys at LightGabler.