USCIS announces new remote I-9 process

During the Covid-era, USCIS was permitting — for the safety of human resources professionals and all individuals involved — I-9’s to be done remotely. That remote process expired with all employers being required to go back and inspect originals of all previously remotely-inspected documents by August 30, 2023. However, the process proved itself so effective that, as a practical matter, USCIS decided to make available and has announced a new remote process that is available to some but not all employers. It is only available under strict procedures dictated by the USCIS. See also the e-Verify instructions for doing this.

For example, and without summarizing all of the procedures:

  • Only employers who participate in e-Verify may use this remote I-9 process. Companies that do not participate in e-Verify may not use this remote process; they must return to live in-person I-9 inspections.
  • Employer who e-Verify and who choose to do remote verifications must then meet all the new requirements. For example,
    • They must use the new I-9 form because it will have to check the box on the new form confirming it used this new “alternative procedure.”
    • They must do the remote inspection by video, live. The employer must, on the video, have the person show them their original I-9 document, confirm it matches what the person previously submitted by email or otherwise, confirm its apparent genuineness, etc.
    • They must then complete the new I-9 form and retain the documents, all as dictated by the government’s requirements.

The government has said it is making available a video tutorial for employers, available to e-Verify companies. Any employer wishing to use this new process should consider watching the government’s tutorial video.

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