Employers are responsible for using the revised U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of all new hires. To ensure the correct Form I-9 is being used, employers should check the edition date at the lower left corner of the form. It should read “Rev. 08/01/23”. Prior versions are no longer valid. Employers are not required to complete a new Form I-9 for current employees who already have a properly completed Form I-9 on file.
Penalties for incorrect or missing I-9 forms, including using outdated versions, now range from $272 to $2,701 per unauthorized employee for first time offenses.
The updated Form I-9 provides the option for eligible employers to verify employment eligibility remotely. Since July 21, 2023, employers enrolled in E-Verify are allowed to remotely examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents using the Optional Alternative Procedure to Physical Document Examination outlined in the Handbook for Employers.
Employers who are eligible for the Alternative Procedure are required to comply with the following remote examination procedure:
- Conduct a live video interaction (Zoom, FaceTime. etc.) within 3 business days of an employee’s first day of employment
- Receive, review and examine electronic copies of the identity and work authorization documents to ensure that the documentation presented is valid and unexpired, is included on the Form I-9 List of Acceptable Documents, and that such documents reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the employee. This generally involves the employee scanning and emailing or texting a photo of the documents the employee is using for the Form I-9 process.)
- Retain a clear and legible copy of the documentation provided by the employee front and back if the documentation is two-sided) with the competed Form I-9.
- Create an E-Verify case for the employee, if a new hire.
Once those steps have been completed, the employer will indicate they used the Alternative Procedure on Page 1 of Form I-9 by selecting the Alternative Procedure checkbox.
Employers must retain an individual’s Form I-9 for three years after the individual’s date of hire or one year after the date the individual’s employment ended whichever is later.
Employers must make Forms I-9 available for inspection upon request by the DHS, the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S, Department of Labor.
USCIS has published a list of all changes to Form I-9. Click Here to View the Form I-9 Summary of Changes Fact Sheet (www.uscis.gov).
USCIS also offers the following free webinars:
FORM I-9 OVERVIEW WEBINAR – Learn about Form I-9 requirements, step by step instructions on how to complete each section, acceptable documents, retention and storage, and an overview of E-Verify.
FORM I-9 DOCUMENT TRAINING – Learn about the types of acceptable documents when filling out Form I-9, what can be accepted, how to enter the information.
E-VERIFY OVERVIEW – Learn about how E-verify works, how to enroll, program highlights and a demonstration of the program. Useful for prospective new E-Verify users.
E-VERIFY FOR FEDERAL CONTRACTORS – Learn about timelines for enrollment, how to use the program, how to verify new and existing employees, and exemptions and exceptions for federal contractors who have been awarded a federal contract with the FAR E-Verify clause.
This content was provided by WPCCA legal counsel and is for general informational purposes only. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel for company specific legal advice.