U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 21, 2023, that the agency will release a revised Form I-9 on August 1, 2023. Employers will be required to use the new version of Form I-9 on or before November 1, 2023. 

Of note, the revised Form will allow remote review of employee documentation for those employers enrolled in E-Verify and in compliance with all E-Verify rules. To remotely review documentation, employees must first submit copies of documentation (front and back to the employer) to the employer, and then the employer must verify documentation through a live video interaction.

USCIS has imposed the following requirements on employers that choose to implement a remote verification process:

  • Employers may only use the remote verification procedures at hiring sites that use E-Verify.
  • Use of remote verification process must be consistent for all employees. Employers may choose to implement the remote verification process for only those employees hired remotely or in a hybrid capacity and require employees hired full-time at the worksite to physically provide documentation.
  • Employers must retain a copy of all documents presented by the employee and listed on Form I-9. Note that E-Verify employers that physically examine documents only need to retain a copy of the specific documents outlined in the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding. 

The standard for reviewing documentation remotely remains the same as it is for physical examination—the documentation must reasonably appear on its face to be genuine and relate to the employee presenting it.  

Employers who took advantage of the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities may use this remote verification process to satisfy the physical examination requirement if the employer was enrolled in E-Verify at the time of completion of Form I-9, created an E-Verify case for the employee, and performed remote inspection between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023. Section 2 of Form I-9 should include a note in the Additional Information field stating that the “alternative procedure” was used to verify documentation.

This is a developing story. Our attorneys are closely monitoring the Form I-9 policy and regulatory changes. Please contact Christine Fabin, Kelli Meilink, or your Husch Blackwell attorney if you have any questions or would like assistance conducting an internal review of your Form I-9 program.