U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced a new version of Form I-9, employment eligibility verification. The new edition is similar for employees and employers. There is a revision related to clearer instructions to employees, guiding acceptable receipts, and auto-extension of a few documents. For employees and employers, the Form is available from August 1st.
Purpose of Revised Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification
The purpose of the revised employment eligibility verification I-9 form in 2023 is to prevent U.S. employers from hiring unauthorized workers and to discourage unauthorized immigration by removing employment as an incentive. To attain this goal, the law places significant accountability on U.S. employers, requiring them to carefully evaluate their personnel immigration statuses to ensure worker eligibility.
This task can be challenging due to the complexity of U.S. immigration law. Moreover, it encompasses 26 major categories of temporary visas, diverse permanent visa categories, and a variety of other miscellaneous categories like parolees and asylum applicants. Diverse categories offer different work authorization, which makes it crucial for employers to understand such distinctions and stay updated on the list of documents that validate these statuses, which are subject to change over time.
How do I participate in the remote examination of Form i-9 documents?
A separate document that the USCIS has published shows the process for the E-Verify participant employers in good standing, permitting employers to conduct remote documentation and verification via live video with employees. Let’s have a look at the process for employees.
What’s New in the Revised Form I-9?
- Reduces Sections 1 and 2 to a single-sided sheet
- Designed fillable forms through tablets and mobile devices, providing convenience and flexibility during the verification process.
- The Lists of Acceptable Documents page has revised to include some acceptable receipts and guidance with links to required information on automatic extensions of employment authorization documentation.. It ensures that employers have up-to-date about the resources at their disposal.
- Preparer/Translator Certification area in Section 1 has been separated into a standalone supplement that employers can offer whenever required.
- Reverification and rehire, that is, section 3, has been moved to a standalone supplement. It allows employers to print when they witness any rehiring or re-verification requirements.
- The length of the form instructions has been significantly reduced from 15 pages to 8 pages.
- Includes a checkbox that permits employers to indicate that they have examined Form I-9 documentation remotely under a DHS-authorized alternative procedure rather than any physical examination.
What changed the most in Form I-9?
Form I-9 and E-Verify programs endured together the years of turbulent policy changes prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the notable changes that took place is related to the physical inspection of Form I-9 identity and eligibility documents. Now, employers can remotely inspect Form I-9 documents for personnel working remotely at the time of the pandemic. DHS introduced such change as COVID flexibilities under USCIS on March 20th, 2023.
The new alternative procedure starts from August 1st, 2023, to satisfy the physical document examination requirement by August 30th, 2023. Furthermore, personnel not enrolled in E-Verify during COVID-19 flexibilities might complete an in-person physical examination by August 30th, 2023.
It’s time to embrace this digital transformation that streamlines administrative tasks, ensures compliance, and motivates efficiency in the process of hiring. Introducing the new Form I-9 with remote e-verification capabilities marks a significant step towards updating the onboarding system for employees.
Providence Partners believes that remote e-verification features open doors to becoming a more inclusive, agile, and tech-savvy approach to talent acquisition. By leveraging this opportunity, businesses can attract top talent and contribute to being the most interconnected and accessible workforce for the near future. Contact us to know about the form I-9 employment eligibility verification in 2023.