URGENT: Form I-9 Flexibilities: E-Verify Update

Posted By: Guardian HR Staff Posted On: July 25, 2023 Share:

With the end of the Covid 19 flexibilities quickly approaching, scheduled for July 31, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that an alternative option for remote verification of employment eligibility documents for qualified employers is going to be available starting August 1, 2023.  To be considered a qualified employer for the alternative procedure, the employers must have been participating in E-Verify, be in good standing, and have previously created E-Verify cases for employees whose documents were remotely examined during the Covid 19 flexibilities.

What does the alternative option involve?

Within three business days of an employee’s first day of employment, a qualified employer (or an authorized representative acting on such an employer’s behalf, such as a third-party vendor) who chooses to use the alternative procedure must:

  1. examine the copies (front and back, if the document is two-sided) of Form I-9 documents or an acceptable receipt to ensure that the documentation presented reasonably appears to be genuine; (Employees will need to first transmit a copy of the document(s) to the employer and then present the same document(s) during the live video interaction)
  2. conduct a live video interaction with the individual presenting the document(s) to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the individual.
  3. indicate an alternative procedure was used to examine documentation to complete Section 2 or for reverification, as applicable.
  4. retain a clear and legible copy of the documentation (front and back if the documentation is two-sided); and
  5. in the event of a Form I-9 audit or investigation by a relevant federal government official, make available the clear and legible copies of the identity and employment authorization documentation presented by the employee for document examination in connection with the employment eligibility verification process.

What are my next steps?

If the Organization meets all these requirements, then the Organization may begin using this alternative method, starting August 1st, for remote I-9 supporting document verification. This alternative method can be used in place of the physical document review requirement for any employee who was hired between March 2020, and July 31, 2023, and whose documents were reviewed remotely, as well as for any new employees.

The Organization will need to follow the steps of the alternative procedure and add “alternative procedure” with the date of examination (i.e., the date the employer performed a live video interaction as required under the alternative procedure) to the Section 2 Additional Information field on the Form I-9 or in Section 3, as appropriate.

What if my Organization just enrolled in E-Verify?

For companies who were not enrolled in E-Verify at the time they initially performed a remote examination of an employee’s documents (i.e., within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment) under the COVID-19 flexibilities between March 20, 2020, and July 31, 2023, are required to physically examine the employee’s Form I-9.

 Additional information

Additional information regarding the optional alternative to examining Form I-9 documents can be found at https://www.uscis.gov/newsroom/alerts/uscis-to-publish-revised-form-i-9.

 Additional information regarding the new alternative method can be found the E-Verify website at https://www.e-verify.gov/about-e-verify/whats-new/new-form-i-9-notice-published-allowing-e-verify-employers-to-remotely.

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Guardian HR Staff

Guardian HR Staff

In-House Writing Team

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