DHS Announces Remote I-9 Verification Alternative to Physical Document Examination

On July 25, DHS will publish a final rule amending the I-9 regulations to allow E-Verify employers in good standing to remotely examine new hires’ employment documents.

  • The alternative procedure is available only to qualified employers, meaning those employers who are enrolled, and participate in good standing, in E-Verify.

  • Qualified employers who choose to use the alternative procedure must:
    » Examine copies of Form I-9 documents provided by the employee;
    » Conduct a live video review of those documents;
    » Indicate on the new Form I-9, that an alternative procedure was used

  • Qualified employers must retain clear and legible copies of all documents presented by the employee.

The new edition of the Form I-9 is effective on August 1, 2023. Employers may continue to use the 10/21/2019 edition of the Form I-9 from August 1, 2023, until the end of October 31, 2023.

When using the August 1, 2023 edition of the Form I-9, an employer must indicate their use of the alternative procedure by completing the corresponding box in Section 2 or in the section corresponding to reverification (which is Supplement B in the August 1, 2023 edition of Form I-9), as appropriate.

Go deeper: The text of this final rule is now available, and the new rule will go into effect on August 1.

Erickson Insights & Analysis
  • What they’re saying: This action corresponds to lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and the substantial practical benefits to having an alternative method of employment eligibility verification. The rule is also consistent with the goals of Executive Order 14058, Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government, which directs agencies to reduce administrative hurdles and paperwork burdens.
  • The big picture: The use of an alternative procedure by qualified employers and their employees should alleviate some of the challenges associated with the current I-9 process and end of flexibilities on July 31. Employers who were participating in E-Verify and created a case for employees whose documents were examined during COVID-19 flexibilities (March 20, 2020 to July 31, 2023), may choose to use the new alternative procedure starting on August 1, 2023 to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by Aug. 30, 2023.
  • Yes, but: Employers who were not enrolled in E-Verify during the COVID-19 flexibilities must complete an in-person physical examination by Aug. 30, 2023.

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.

Learn More…

Erickson Immigration Group attorneys Lauren Clarke and Kainoa Bostock will discuss the breaking news from the Department of Homeland Security during a LinkedIn Live on Wednesday, July 26 at 3 PM EDT.