Client Alert: USCIS Announces New Form I-9 and Permits Permanent Remote Review for E-Verify Users
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has recently announced important updates that will have significant implications for employers in the United States. These changes pertain to the Form I-9, a crucial document used by employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees. Additionally, the USCIS has introduced a final rule that permits remote review procedures for employers participating in the E-Verify program. This exciting development aims to streamline processes, provide flexibility, and enhance compliance in employee verification. Let’s dive into the key details.
- Updated Form I-9: Starting from August 1, employers must begin using the new version of Form I-9 provided by the USCIS. This updated form is designed to simplify the process of verifying employee information, ensuring employers comply with immigration laws and regulations. The Form I-9 serves as a crucial tool in maintaining a legal workforce, and employers should promptly transition to the new version to remain compliant.
- Remote Review for E-Verify Users: One of the most significant changes introduced by the USCIS is the authorization of remote documentation and verification for employers participating in the E-Verify program. This process allows E-Verify participant employers in good standing to conduct document examination and verification via live video with their employees. The new procedure will be available from August 1, providing an efficient alternative to in-person, physical reviews.
- USCIS Final Rule: The USCIS has also published a final rule that grants the secretary of homeland security the authority to approve “alternative document examination procedures.” This decision paves the way for permanent flexibilities under specific conditions and enables USCIS to respond to unforeseen emergencies, similar to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. These changes promise to enhance adaptability and ensure that employee verification processes remain robust and effective.
- Employer Checklist: To comply with the new regulations, employers must be diligent in using the updated Form I-9, starting August 1. The USCIS has included a designated box on the form that employers must check when utilizing the alternative remote review procedure. While the previous version of Form I-9 will continue to be accepted until October 31, 2023, employers are encouraged to embrace the new form and remote review process promptly.
The USCIS’s announcement of an updated Form I-9 and the introduction of a remote review process for E-Verify users mark significant progress in modernizing employee verification procedures. These changes come as a timely response to the evolving landscape of work and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers are urged to stay informed, prepare for the implementation of the new form, and consider leveraging the remote review process to streamline their employee verification efforts. Let’s embrace these updates as opportunities to strengthen our workforce and ensure our businesses remain compliant with immigration laws. For personalized guidance and to ensure compliance is tailored to your business needs, don’t hesitate to contact OGC Solutions®.