Beginning November 1, 2023, all U.S. employers must use the new 08/01/2023 edition of the Form I-9. U.S. law requires employers to complete the Form I-9 for all new employees to confirm valid employment authorization. The new form edition includes important changes and allows E-Verify enrolled employers to virtually examine employee documents – a process that has historically been completed in-person.
Changes in the new Form I-9:
The new Form I-9 includes a simplified layout and improved instructions for completion. Sections 1 and 2 are now on a single page. The new form includes a separate Supplement A to report the use of a translator or interpreter when completing the form, and a new Supplement B to re-verify employee work authorization as needed. Updated guidance included with the form confirms that employees may leave items blank in Section 1 without issue. Previously, employers could be penalized if the employee did not write “N/A” in fields that did not apply.
New Virtual Document Verification Procedure:
The new form edition offers an optional process for E-Verify enrolled employers to virtually inspect an employee’s I-9 documents. Employers who use this new process must define a consistent process to offer the option within each E-Verify enrolled hiring site. For example, one hiring site might offer the process to all employees, while another offers it only to fully remote employees. Another hiring site may continue to conduct all reviews in person. Irrespective of a hiring site’s policy, an employee may demand in-person review at any time.
Under this new process
- The employee electronically sends the front (and back if not blank) of documents confirming identity and work authorization. The employer then examines the electronic copies of these documents for genuineness.
- The employer then conducts a live video interaction with the employee in any format (e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams). On the live video interaction, the employee must present the same documents previously electronically provided.
- While on the live video interaction, the employer records these documents in Section 2, and marks the “alternative procedure” checkbox on the new Form I-9.
- The employer must then retain copies of the documents and complete any remaining steps as normal, including E-Verify verification.
Under this new virtual inspection process, employers should complete the live video interaction as soon as possible after the employee has provided electronic copies of the I-9 documents. This reduces the risk that the documents will be lost or expire before the live video interaction. The employee must present the same documents at each step.
Please contact any member of the Immigration Practice Group if you have questions regarding Form I-9 completion and compliance.