Employment Law Trending Now – Additional Changes Announced to I-9 Employment Verification Procedures
As an update to our previously provided employment law update, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have made additional changes and, subsequently, a new version of Form I‑9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
The new form is to be used beginning August 1, 2023. Employers must use Form I‑9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of their employees.
Earlier this year and in the previous client alert:
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that COVID-19 flexibilities for verifying I-9 documentation would end on July 31, 2023.
- Employers who used remote verification avenues permitted by the flexibility policy had until August 30, 2023 to complete physical inspections of the submitted documents.
Following the DHS and ICE announcement regarding the end of COVID-19 employment verification flexibility, the USCIS in July announced a new version of Form I‑9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to be used beginning August 1, 2023. The new form is shorter than the old form and has been modified to make it easier for employers and employees to use. These and other improvements are detailed in the USCIS announcement.
Employers may begin using this new form on August 1, 2023 and may continue using the old version of Form I-9 (last modified in 2019) until October 31, 2023. However, all employers MUST use the new “08/01/2023” version of Form I-9 beginning November 1, 2023. Employers should check the lower left corner of the form to ensure they are using the correct version.
In addition, DHS issued a rule on July 25, 2023 allowing existing E‑Verify employers to remotely examine Form I-9 employment eligibility documents starting Aug. 1, 2023, provided they follow certain steps.
- The steps are outlined in this guidance.
- This alternative also may be used to satisfy the in-person physical examination of employee documentation for employees whose documents were examined under the COVID-19 flexibility policies.
Fortunately for employers, USCIS is offering several resources to explain the new form and remote verification procedures. An “I-9 Central” website with news and FAQs is available here, and free Form I-9 and E-Verify webinars are offered multiple times per week.
If you have any questions about this Alert, or if you would like assistance in ensuring your company’s compliance with current I-9 requirements, please reach out to Amy M.Gibson or the Aronberg Goldgehn attorney with whom you normally work.