USCIS Announces Updated I-9 Form and Remote Document Inspection Program
July 28, 2023
By Michael Burns, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that an updated Form I-9 will be available August 1, 2023. This will replace its Form I-9 that has been in use since October 2019. Since November of 1986, employers hiring any person to perform labor or services in the United States must have a completed I-9 form on file for that employee.
Employers that complete I-9 forms may designate, hire, or contract with any person to complete, update, or make corrections to Section 2 or 3 on behalf of the employer. The new employee fills out and signs Section 1.
The USCIS states the new I-9 is only one page long and easier to complete for employers and employees. The new form also provides guidance on acceptable receipts and the auto-extension of certain documents provided on the List of Acceptable Documents.
Though the new form can be used as of August 1st the current (2019 version) can still be used through October 31, 2023.
USCIS’s remote viewing program where employers can inspect I-9 forms via internet video will end effective July 31, 2023, and employers are given until August 31, 2023, to go back and do a physical inspection of employee documents and then amend their I-9’s verifying the documents were visually inspected in-person by an employer representative.
New Rule Will Allow Remote Inspections of Documents if the Employer Uses E-Verify
One other change announced by USCIS is that employers that participate in E-Verify may remotely examine employee’s I-9 documents via live video. The new I-9 form will have a box that employers will check to indicate the documents were inspected virtually. If the current I-9 is being updated remotely, employers would write in “Alternative Procedure” in the Additional Information field. All copies of the I-9 documents should be retained whether examined remotely or in-person.
The new federal regulations state employers that qualify to use the Alternative Procedure and E-Verify must make and retain copies of documents presented for List A or the Form I-9. If copies of the employee’s I-9 documents are retained for reasons unrelated to E-Verify requirements, they must be retained for all employees. Currently employers that physically examine the documentation presented by a new employee have the choice of retaining copies or scans of the documentation presented by the employee.
Beginning November 1, 2023, only Form I-9s dated 8/1/23 will be acceptable to use.
Source: USCIS New Form I-9; Notice Published Allowing E-Verify Employers to Remotely Examine Form I-9 Documents (7/21/2023).