Employers Using E-Verify Allowed to Continue Remote Verification of Form I-9

By Marylou Fabbo - Skoler Abbott

July 26, 2023

On July 21, 2023, the U.S Department of  Homeland Security (DHS) announced that beginning on August 1, 2023, employers who use E-Verify and are in good standing will have the option to review employees’ identity and employment authorization documents (EAD) via live video call rather than in person.  Current regulations for the Form I-9 require all employers to physically examine the Form I-9 documentation presented by new employees within 3 days of the start of employment in order to ensure that the documentation appears to be genuine and related to the individual who presents it.  Employers who are not using E-Verify may wish to sign up now to take advantage of the remote verification option. Additionally, all employers, whether they use E-Verify or not, should know that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will issue a revised Form I-9 on August 1, 2023.

E-Verify.  E-Verify is a free, easy-to-use web-based system that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees.  Under the DHS’ new rule, employers may continue to conduct physical examinations if they wish, but the remote option is available to those who are enrolled in E-Verify. Enrolling in E-Verify is fairly easy.  More information on how to do so and about E-Verify can be found here.

New Form I-9. On Aug. 1, 2023, USCIS will publish a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The new form will be a fillable form designed for tablets and mobile devices.  It will include a checkbox allowing employers to indicate they examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under the DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination.  The new form also revises the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include guidance on acceptable receipts as well as links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.  The revised Form I-9 (edition date 08/01/23) will be published on the USCIS website on Aug. 1, 2023. Employers can use the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) through Oct. 31, 2023. Starting Nov. 1, 2023, all employers must use the new Form I-9.

As mentioned in our last blog on the topic, employers who do not participate in E-Verify have until August 30, 2023, to perform all required physical examination of identity and employment authorization documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020 who have received only a virtual or remote examination under the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities.

Employers who have any questions about E-Verify, the new Form I-9, or virtual inspection should contact their labor and employment counsel.

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