By Trüpp

Remote verification of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, will end on July 31, 2023. Employers must complete in-person physical document inspections for employees whose documents were inspected remotely during the COVID-19 flexibility period by August 30, 2023.

Employers may begin the in-person document inspections at any time. To complete the updates by the August 30 deadline, employers should:

  • Decide whether to perform the physical inspection of documents at the worksite or use an offsite third-party authorized representative.
  • If the company uses electronic I-9 forms, communicate with the vendor about the review and update plan.
  • Communicate the plan for inspections with the workforce, including the timeline for compliance.
  • Educate authorized representatives on how to update Form I-9 before inspection.

Employees who completed the I-9 remotely should write “COVID-19” in the Additional Information field of the form as the reason for delayed in-person inspection. The HR professional inspecting the I-9 should write “Documents Physically Examined” in this field, along with the date and auditor’s initials. If the person who initially performed the virtual inspection is not available for the in-person inspection, the auditor should also add their full name and title.

If the employee presents different forms of identification during the in-person inspection than were used on the virtually submitted Form I-9, the auditor should complete Section 2 using the new documentation presented and enter a note on the I-9 record. If one or more of the documents has expired since the remote inspection, the expired document remains acceptable for in-person review.

I-9 forms for employees that have since left the company should have this noted on their Form I-9, and the form should be retained.

In-person inspection must be completed for employers who operate remotely.* Employers may choose to use an authorized representative to complete the in-person inspection. This can be any person the employer designates to complete and sign Form I-9 on their behalf.

Some employers may voluntarily use the E-Verify system to verify employee documents electronically with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). E-Verify does not replace I-9 record-keeping requirements. E-Verify is a government authorization system that validates if a person is legally allowed to work in the US.  Employers must retain the completed I-9 records, and if E-Verify is utilized, the authorization information must be filed with the I-9.

* Employers who used E-Verify for all employees hired within the flexibility period will not be required to complete in-person physical document inspections.

Never worry about compliance again. Start your HR compliance subscription