By Molly Wood, SPHR, MAOL Senior HR Consultant
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that a new streamlined I-9 form will be available for use by employers starting August 1, 2023. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ruled that the Secretary of Homeland Security may authorize alternative document examination procedures for remote workers.
Yeah! Faster and easier I-9 processes! Woo-hoo!
Well, don’t pop your champagne bottle just yet. In the 117-page document that was published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2023, the stipulations behind the adapted process were revealed. (I mean, sort of revealed, if you have the patience to scan through a 117-page document with a lot of repetition.)
The first hitch in alternative procedures for many small employers is that only employers who use E-Verify and are in good standing may use the alternate procedures. If you don’t use E-Verify, you can skip the next paragraph.
If you are an E-Verify employer in good standing, the procedures for completing the I-9 are a little easier than physical examination of I-9 documents, but not much. The alternative procedures require employers – within three business days of hire – to examine copies (front and back) of documents, then conduct a live video interaction with the person presenting the documents, indicate that an alternative procedure was used in examining documentation, retain clear and legible copies of the documentation, and be able to make clear and legible copies of documentation available upon an audit or investigation by a relevant federal governmental agency.
All employers are required to start using the updated I-9 form, but it won’t be available until August 1, 2023 (the day we are all supposed to be using it) so don’t worry about being proactive in putting together your new-hire orientation packets. Fortunately, employers may continue to use the older form through October 31, 2023.
If you no longer have an onsite workforce and would like SDEA to act as your authorized representative, we can invite your new hires to our offices to complete the I-9 and examination through our HR on Loan services. Give us a call to talk about logistics. At SDEA we are not only here for you, we are HeRe with you. 858-505-0024.