Navigating the New Form I-9 and Embracing Remote Verification: A Seamless Transition Guide

The Oakley Group

August 8, 2023

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has introduced important updates to the Form I-9, bringing forth a revised version that takes effect from August 1, 2023. These changes, while extensive, are aimed at enhancing the verification process for employers and employees alike. Additionally, the USCIS is introducing a new alternative procedure for remote verification, enabling qualified employers to conduct Form I-9 verification remotely. We’ll break down these changes and provide a comprehensive guide on how to smoothly transition to the new system.

1. What’s New with Form I-9: The upcoming Form I-9 (Rev. 08/01/23) introduces several noteworthy changes:

    • Stand-alone Sections: The Preparer/Translator Certification (Section 1) and Reverification and Rehire (Section 3) have been separated into standalone documents (Supplement A and Supplement B, respectively).
    • Digital-Friendly: The new form is tablet and mobile device-friendly, facilitating easier completion.
    • Updated Terminology: The term “alien authorized to work” is replaced with “noncitizen authorized to work” in Section 1.
    • Enhanced Instructions: The instructions have been streamlined from 15 pages to eight.
    • Acceptable Receipts: The Lists of Acceptable Documents now include acceptable receipts and links to information about automatic extensions of employment authorization documents.
    • Alternative Verification: A new box has been added for eligible employers to indicate if the alternative verification procedure was used.

2. Embracing the New Form I-9: Employers must adhere to the following timeline:

    • Until October 31, 2023: Continue using the prior version of Form I-9 (Rev. 10/21/19).
    • Starting November 1, 2023: Use the new Form I-9 (Rev. 08/01/23) for all new hires and reverifications.

3. Remote Verification: The Alternative Procedure – Qualified employers have the opportunity to perform remote Form I-9 verification using the alternative procedure. Here’s what you need to know:

    • Who Qualifies: Qualified employers are those participating in E-Verify and meeting specific criteria.
    • Procedure Steps: Employers must follow a set of steps within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment, including document examination, a live video meeting, and marking the appropriate box on the Form I-9.
    • Exceptions: Employers can offer remote verification only to remote employees while performing in-person verification for onsite and hybrid employees.
    • Inclusivity: Employers must not discriminate based on citizenship, immigration status, national origin, or protected characteristics.

4. Transitioning During COVID-19 Flexibilities: For those who conducted remote verification under COVID-19 flexibilities, there’s a provision to integrate these changes:

    • Conditions: Employers must have been enrolled in E-Verify, created an E-Verify case, and performed the remote inspection between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023.
    • Action Item: Follow the alternative procedure steps and include “alternative procedure” and the live video meeting date on the Form I-9.

5. Taking Action: Enrolling in E-Verify: If you’re interested in utilizing the alternative procedure, ensure your enrollment in E-Verify:

    • Enrollment Process: Begin the enrollment process to become eligible for remote verification. Check the necessary steps on the USCIS website.

The evolution of Form I-9 and the introduction of the alternative procedure for remote verification mark significant strides in streamlining the employment verification process. As employers, it’s essential to stay informed about these changes and ensure a smooth transition. By embracing the updated form and exploring remote verification options, you can maintain compliance while simplifying the hiring process for both your organization and your employees.

If you have any questions or need assistance with implementing these changes, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our HR Team is here to support you every step of the way!

Topics: Form I-9 | Remote


The Oakley Group

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