The federal government requires employers to use Form I-9 to record verification of each employee’s employment eligibility in the United States. During Covid, employers could remotely verify eligibility. In October 2022, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) announced that after July 31, 2023, employers would no longer be allowed to remotely examine documents that are required to complete the I-9.
The October 2022 announcement also stated that, in the future, employers would be required to physically examine employee documents for those employees who were hired on or after March 20, 2022, and for whom the employer has only conducted a remote inspection. It has now been announced that employers will have 30 days after the July 31st deadline, or until August 30, 2023, to physically examine the documents for these employees. Employers should take notice of the following:
- All employers must comply with the requirement to physically inspect documents, even if their employees have not yet returned to work in person.
- If an employee refuses to meet for a physical document inspection, the employer cannot retain the employee.
- An employer whose employees work across the country and not just in one location is not required to have the same person who originally performed the remote inspection perform the in-person inspection but can choose an authorized representative to complete the in-person inspection.
Employers should make a list of employees whose I-9 documents need to be examined in person and put a plan in place to ensure they are inspected by the August 30, 2023, deadline.
New I-9 Form
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced a new version of Form I‑9, Employment Eligibility Verification. It is only one page long and should be easier for employers and employees to use. Other improvements include clearer instructions and providing guidance on acceptable receipts and the auto-extension of some documents found on the Lists of Acceptable Documents.
Employers may begin using the new edition on Aug. 1, 2023, but may continue to use the 2019 version of the form through Oct. 31, 2023. Beginning Nov. 1, 2023, only the new Form I‑9 dated ”08/01/2023” may be used. The version date can be found in the lower-left corner of the form.
TAKEAWAY: Employers must be aware of changes in Form I-9 requirements to ensure they comply with the federal government’s employee verification process. If you are an employer and need help navigating the employee verification and employment eligibility process or any other federal or New Jersey employment law, contact Stephanie Gironda or any member of the Wilentz Employment Law Team.
The postings on this blog were created for general informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice or a solicitation to provide legal services. Although we attempt to ensure that the postings are complete, accurate, and current as of the time of publication, we assume no responsibility for their completeness, accuracy, or timeliness. The information in this blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking professional legal counsel.
This blog may contain links to independent third party websites and services, including social media. We provide these links for your convenience, and you access them at your own risk. We have no control over and do not monitor the content or policies (including privacy policies) of these third-party websites and have no responsibility for, and no liability with respect to, their content, accuracy, or reliability. Unless expressly stated, we do not endorse any of the linked websites or any product, service, or publication referenced herein or therein. We will remove a link to any site from this blog upon request of the linked entity.
We grant permission to readers to link to this blog so long as this blog is not misrepresented. This site is not sponsored or associated with any other site unless so identified.
If you wish for Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., to consider representing you, please obtain contact information from the Contact Us area of this blog or go to the firm’s website at www.wilentz.com. One of our lawyers will be happy to discuss the possibility of representation with you. However, the authors of Wilentz blogs are licensed only in New Jersey and/or New York and do not wish to represent anyone who viewed this site in a state where the site fails to comply with all laws and ethical rules of that state.