July 27, 2023

What Employers Need to Know About the New Form I-9 as of August 1, 2023: Big Changes on the Horizon

At a Glance

  • On August 1, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is set to publish a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
  • In tandem with the release of the new Form I-9, temporary COVID-19 flexibilities for employers will end on July 31, 2023, but E-Verify employers in good standing will now be able to remotely review employees’ identity and work authorization documents.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is set to publish a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification on August 1, 2023. With the new Form I-9, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also authorized an alternative procedure for certain employers to allow for remote verification of employee documents in connection with the I-9 process.

Among other revisions, the new form includes a checkbox allowing employers to indicate that they have examined employees’ Form I-9 identity and work authorization documentation remotely rather than via physical examination. At the end of last week, DHS announced the final rule that will allow E-Verify employers in good standing to remotely review employees’ identity and work authorization documents beginning August 1, following the end of temporary COVID-19 flexibilities on July 31.

To participate in the remote examination of Form I-9 documents under the new DHS-authorized alternative procedure, employers must enroll (or already be enrolled) in E-Verify. Employers would then examine copies of I-9 documents (provided by the employee by email or some other method) and then confirm those same documents through a live video interaction with the employee. Following the live video interaction, employers should select the Form I-9 they wish to use and annotate accordingly: If using the 08/01/2023 version, check the box in the Additional Information field, or if using the 10/21/2019 version, write in “Alternative Procedure” in the Additional Information field.

The current version of Form I-9 (dated 10/21/2019) may continue to be used through October 31, 2023. However, beginning November 1, employers must exclusively use the new (08/01/2023) version. Following completion of the Form I-9, employers should retain copies of all identity documents that were examined remotely with the employee’s Form I-9, and – if the employee is a new hire – create a case in E-Verify.

Employers who were enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities and created a case for employees whose documents were examined remotely during COVID-19 flexibilities between March 20, 2020, to July 31, 2023, may choose to use the new alternative procedure starting on August 1 to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by August 30.

Employers who were not enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities must complete an in-person physical examination of the documents by August 30.

Employers who are interested in following the alternative document review procedure as of August 1 must be careful to either use the alternate procedure for all new hires at a specific worksite, or only use the alternate procedure for remote employees but still use the “regular” in-person documentation verification procedure for onsite and hybrid employees.

Employers may not selectively implement the alternative procedure for discriminatory purposes or treat employees differently based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin.

The material contained in this communication is informational, general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. The material contained in this communication should not be relied upon or used without consulting a lawyer to consider your specific circumstances. This communication was published on the date specified and may not include any changes in the topics, laws, rules or regulations covered. Receipt of this communication does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In some jurisdictions, this communication may be considered attorney advertising.

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