Beginning November 1st, employers must use the new Form I-9 when verifying the identity and employment authorization of new hires. The new Form I-9 has an edition date of “08/01/23” and is available on our website under “Forms”. The previous Form I-9 with an edition date of “10/21/19” will no longer be valid as of October 31, 2023.
Changes to the revised Form I-9 were designed to streamline the verification process. The new I-9:
Reduces Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet;
Is designed to be a fillable form on tablets and mobile devices;
Moves the Section 1 Preparer/Translator Certification area to a separate, standalone supplement that employers can provide to employees when necessary;
Moves Section 3, Reverification and Rehire, to a standalone supplement that employers can print if or when rehire occurs or reverification is required;
Revises the Lists of Acceptable Documents page to include some acceptable receipts as well as guidance and links to information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation (Note on Acceptable Receipts”: For I-9 purposes, employers are allowed to accept a receipt for an official application to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged document for a period of 90 days).
Reduces Form instructions from 15 pages to 8 pages; and
Includes a checkbox allowing employers to indicate they examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than via physical examination.
Remote Verification Alternative Procedure
In addition, as of August 1, 2023, employers enrolled in E-Verify and in good standing may now remotely verify identity and employment authorization documents under a rule promulgated by USCIS on July 25, 2023. This relieves those employers who are in good standing from having to physically inspect the I-9 documents in person with their applicants.
To be in “good standing” with E-Verify and take advantage of remote verification, the employer must:
Be enrolled in E-Verify with respect to all hiring sites;
Be in compliance with all requirements of the E-Verify program; and
Continue to be enrolled and a participant in good standing in E-Verify at any time during which the employer uses the alternative procedure.
The Remote Verification Procedure
The remote verification procedure requires employers within three business days of an employee’s first day of employment to:
Examine copies of Form I-9 documents or an acceptable receipt;
Conduct a live video interaction with the employee presenting the document to ensure that the documentation – which must be the same document(s) presented above – appears genuine; and
Indicate using the check box on the Form I-9 that the alternative procedure was used to examine documentation to complete Section 2 or for reverification, as applicable.
Employers using the alternative procedure are also required to retain “clear and legible” copies of the identity and employment authorization documentation (front and back, if the document is two-sided) for employees whose documents were verified using the alternative procedure.
Retaining required documentation and completing the Form I-9 in a timely, accurate and complete manner are critical, as employers may be required to produce Form I-9s and accompanying documentation in the event of an audit or investigation.
Editor’s Note: We’ll provide an executive summary of this and other legal developments in our webinar, FMLA Mistakes: Ask the Experts on October 30, 2023. The webinar features the top officials from the Connecticut Department of Labor and Paid Leave Authority. They will be sharing the top mistakes they see employers making in FMLA administration and answering employer questions. To enroll, visit our "Seminars" page here or contact Jessenia Narvaez at firstname.lastname@example.org.