If you’re a business owner in the United States, you’re likely familiar with Form I-9, the Employment Eligibility Verification form. It’s essential to the hiring process, ensuring all your employees, both citizens and non-citizens, are authorized to work in the U.S.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) updates Form I-9 every few years though, and the latest revision will go into effect on August 1, 2023.
What Do the Form I-9 Revisions Include?
The most obvious change is that the form is much shorter, but the USCIS made other updates to it as well. The new Form I-9:
- Reduces relevant sections to a single-sided sheet;
- Allows the form to be fillable on tablets and mobile devices;
- Allows for certain certification, reverifications or rehires to be a standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees, if necessary;
- Reduces Form instructions;
- Revises the lists of acceptable documents; and
- Includes a checkbox to allow employers to indicate remote or virtual procedures.
Temporary COVID 19 Flexibilities End July 31, 2023
Along with the above revisions, the USCIS also ended the temporary COVID-19 flexibilities that allowed employers to virtually or remotely inspect employee-submitted Form I-9 documents. If your business inspected documents virtually or remotely under the temporary COVID-19 flexibilities, you have until Aug. 30, 2023, to conduct in-person, physical document inspection and annotate the Form I-9 for each employee whose documents were inspected via video, email, fax, etc.
H3: Can You Still Inspect Documents Remotely?
On August 1, 2023, virtual or remote inspection of documents may continue under a new “Alternative Procedure” for a Qualified Employer.
What’s a Qualified Employer?
A Qualified Employer is an employer who is a participant in good standing, in E-Verify, is enrolled in E-Verify with respect to all hiring sites in the U.S. and is in compliance with all requirements with the E-Verify program. Among other things, a Qualified Employer will annotate “Alternative Procedure” on the old Form I-9 or “Additional Information” on the new Form I-9, retain all I-9 documents that are examined remotely with the employee’s Form I-9, and create a case in E-Verify for the employee.
View the New Form I-9
Click here to access the new Form I-9 available August 1, 2023. Employers will be allowed to use the old form until October 31, 2023.
When Does the New Form I-9 Go Into Effect?
The new form I-9 goes into effect August 31, 2023, but there is a grace period for businesses to adopt it. It is mandatory that beginning November 1, 2023, all employers must use the new Form I-9. Failure to use the new Form I-9 will subject employers to penalties.
If you have questions related to this or other issues related to employment compliance and law, please call Jose Espejo at (301) 251-1180.