Client Advisory: Update to Form I-9 Employment Verification Flexibility

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During the global pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security provided more flexible measures for employers in the I-9 employment verification process. In particular, the most flexible of these steps was to allow employers to verify documents used to complete the I-9 virtually, i.e., without physically inspecting the actual document. The USCIS announced that, as of August 1, 2023, for certain employers, this virtual inspection allowance will become a permanent measure. Additionally, the USCIS is revamping the Form I-9 and condensing the form to a single page.

To qualify for the virtual verification process, employers must be in good standing with the DHS and be enrolled in the government’s E-Verify database. Employers who do not participate in E-Verify have until August 30th, 2023 to perform physical evaluations of all employees who were hired on or after March 20th, 2020, and enroll to then qualify for virtual inspection. Non-qualifying employers cannot use virtual inspection and, as with pre-pandemic measures, must inspect all documents “in person” before completing Form I-9 for an employee.  

The new revised form will be published on on August 1st, 2023. Employers can use the current Form I-9 until October 31st, 2023. All employers must use the revised Form I-9 starting November 1st, 2023.

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