Alternative Procedure for Remote Form I-9 Document Verification


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Discover the Alternative Procedure for Remote I-9 Document Verification for E-Verify Employers

Eligible employers enrolled in the E-Verify program can utilize an alternative verification process for remotely verifying Form I-9 documents, an integral part of the Employment Eligibility Verification process. This alternative process, endorsed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), allows eligible employers enrolled in the E-Verify program to streamline the I-9 verification process for employees who were onboarded remotely during the COVID-19 flexibilities period. This blog provides comprehensive insights into the alternative procedure that eliminates the need for an in-person physical examination.

Here’s how the alternative procedure works.

Within the first three days of a new hire’s employment, the employer or an authorized third-party agent acting on the employer’s behalf, utilizing the alternative procedure, must do the following.

  1. Verify the authenticity of Form I-9 documents presented by the employee by reviewing copies of the documents or an acceptable receipt.
  2. Conduct a live video interaction with the employee to verify the authenticity and relevance of the documents to the individual. (The new hire must transmit a copy of the document to the employer and present the same document during the video interaction.)
  3. By completing the respective box, the employer or the third-party agent must indicate on Form I-9 that the alternative procedure was used to examine the documentation for Section 2 of the I-9 form or for reverification, as applicable.
  4. Retain clear and legible copies of the documentation presented and make the form and the documentation available for Form I-9 audits or investigations by federal government officials.

Employers Qualified to Use the Alternative Procedure

As confirmed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), employers actively participating in E-Verify qualify for this alternative procedure. Any employee who uses E-Verify and complies with the E-Verify requirements is eligible for this alternative procedure.

E-Verify Case Creation

Employees enrolled in the E-Verify program must create cases for all the employees they newly hire, regardless of the employment type. It is crucial to note that employers using E-Verify must follow all the E-Verify requirements and those stipulated by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause for specific contracts or federal contractors.

In order to stay compliant with the E-Verify requirements, employers must ensure that they do not discriminate against employees based on their immigration status, citizenship, nationality, etc.

Physical Examination or Alternative Procedure

The alternative procedure is optional and not mandatory for all employers enrolled in E-Verify. They can physically examine documents for the I-9 form, and qualified employers have the freedom to choose between physically examining documents for the I-9 form or utilizing the alternative procedure.

Qualified Employers and the Alternative Procedure

Employers must apply the alternative procedure consistently across employees. While it’s acceptable to employ the alternative procedure for remote employees and physical examination for onsite or hybrid employees, discriminatory practices are strictly prohibited. Employers cannot offer the alternative procedure to some employees at an E-verify site and follow a different procedure for other employees. Employees must not decide who is eligible for the alternative procedure based on certain characteristics and should not unlawfully discriminate against any employee.

The Final Word

Staying compliant with I-9 requirements can be quite tricky. We would be delighted to demonstrate how Imagility’s I-9 solution can assist you in maintaining compliance with U.S. immigration laws and Form I-9 requirements.

Book a FREE Demo to discover how Imagility can streamline your immigration management and ensure alignment with evolving regulations.

Give us a call at +1 603 782 4622 or +1 617 865 6588 to get an exclusive sneak peek into the incredible capabilities of Imagility!

Form I-9 Helpful Resources

Navigating the I-9 Form 2023: What You Need to Know
DHS Ends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility
Internal I-9 Form Corrections and Audit Instructions
Form I-9 COVID-19 Flexibility Policy Update – Ends July 31, 2023
I-9 Requirements for Remote Workers – Tips to Prevent Violations

Form I-9 Playbook

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