Starting today, August 1, 2023, USCIS published a revised version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This new form version comes alongside a remote option for employers to have their Form I-9s to be examined through E-Verify. These changes are pursuant to two simultaneous final rules published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2023.
The Form I-9 update (edition date 08/01/2023) is the only form version employers can use starting November 1, 2023. The current version (10/21/2019) can be used through October 31, 2023. The updates streamline the Form I-9. A few examples of the changes are: reducing Section 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet, ability to be electronically completed, formatting of some sections to allow a clean detached supplement if needed, and revising the list of Acceptable Documents.
The E-Verify update comes with a recognition of ending some temporary DHS flexibilities brought about by COVID-19 (March 20, 2020 to July 31, 2023). DHS is encouraging the use of E-Verify by providing an alternative avenue of employer examination and verification, understanding the reality of the large switch for many in the workforce post-COVID to remote work.
This move may also encourage employers to utilize E-Verify. E-Verify is a free, web-based system operated by DHS in partnership with the Social Security Administration. Employers may now electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees through E-Verify.
Current regulations require employers, within three business days after the first day of employment, to physically examine Form I-9 documentation. But with this new rule, this process can be done remotely by enrolling in E-Verify, including live video interaction with the employee.
Employers who already enrolled in E-Verify and created a case during COVID-19 flexibilities (March 20, 2020 to July 31, 2023) can utilize the remote procedure to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by August 30, 2020. Those employees who did not enroll in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flex-time period will need to complete an in-person document review by August 30, 2023.
If you or your business are interested in E-Verify, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +1 630-262-1435.