- Employers will have until November 1, 2023 to start using new edition
- Employers who are enrolled in E-Verify will be able to utilize new remote verification option to complete Section 2 of Form I-9
On July 21, 2023, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will publish a new revised version of Form I-9 on August 1, 2023. Employers must begin using the new version of the Form I-9 (edition date 08/01/23) by November 1, 2023. Until then, employers may continue using the current version of the Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19).
According to the USCIS announcement, the new version of the Form I-9 does the following:
- 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 reverification 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 Department of Homeland Security (DHS)-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination.
While many of the changes will be welcomed by employers using the Form I-9, perhaps the last bullet point is the most important to many employers. The checkbox mentioned above will allow employers enrolled in E-Verify to indicate they remotely examined identity and employment authorization documents, instead of reviewing documents in person, under an alternative procedure authorized by the DHS. To participate in the remote examination of Form I-9 documents, employers must be enrolled in E-Verify and in good standing, examine and retain “clear and legible” copies of all documents, conduct a live video interaction with the employee during the verification process, and create an E-Verify case if the employee is a new hire.
USCIS also pointed out that employers who were participating in E-Verify and created a case for employees whose documents were examined during COVID-19 flexibilities (March 20, 2020 to July 31, 2023), may choose to use the new alternative procedure starting on August 1, 2023 to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by August 30, 2023. However, employers who were not enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities must complete an in-person physical examination by August 30, 2023.
More information about the remote examination procedure, and the revised Form I-9, will become available once the new edition is made available to the public on August 1st. It is also possible that the remote inspection option will be made available to all employers in the future. USCIS’s final rule creates a framework under which the agency could implement permanent flexibilities under certain conditions, initiate pilot procedures with respect to the examination of documents, or respond to emergencies similar to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information on this topic or to learn how Godfrey & Kahn can help, please contact a member of our labor, employment and immigration practice.