I-9 Requirements for Remote Workers – Tips to Prevent Violations


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Learn how to ensure I-9 compliance and prevent violations for remote workers

Today’s digital world has led to an increase in remote work, allowing employees to work from anywhere in the world. At this point, it is crucial for U.S. employers and organizations hiring remote employees to be mindful of the employment eligibility verification requirements they must comply with. It is mandatory to comply with the I-9 requirements for all employees, including remote workers, to prevent violations and maintain legal compliance. This blog post explains I-9 requirements for remote workers and provides tips to prevent possible violations.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is used to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. All U.S. employers and authorized representatives of the employers have to complete this form for every employee they hire. This requirement applies to both U.S. citizens and non-citizens.

It is crucial for employers to make sure every employee they hire completes this form accurately. Section 1 of the form must be completed by the employee, while the other two sections, Section 2 and Section 3, must be completed by the employer. It is mandatory for the employees also to produce the required supporting documentation to prove their employment eligibility and identity.

Followed by that, the employer must check the documents the employee presented and ensure their legitimacy. It is their responsibility to ensure that the information presented is genuine. They must then record the information in Section 2 of Form I-9. They must retain the completed and signed I-9 forms for a certain period of time and make the forms available for government audits.

Learn how to complete Form I-9 properly.

I-9 Verification for Remote Employees

Form I-9 is used by U.S. employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees, irrespective of their immigration status in the U.S., which means employment eligibility verification is mandatory for U.S. citizens, as well. Though this process is simple for regular employees, remote employees present a few challenges as they are not physically present at the workplace.

Whenever a new employee is onboarded, the HR or the person responsible reviews the identity of the newly hired and their employment authorization documents. This happens at the workplace, in the employee’s physical presence. This in-person review of the I-9 form is mandatory for all U.S. employers who have returned to in-office operations.

Remote Onboarding Procedures

In the case of onboarding a new remote employee, there is a process called “Remote Hire” that the employers will need to follow. This process applies to employers hiring remote employees. In this situation, in-person document verification is conducted by a third party on the employer’s behalf. U.S. employers hiring remote employees will need to designate third-party agents, train them or provide instructions on verifying the remote employees’ employment eligibility. They must also perform a detailed review once they receive the completed I-9 form. Employers must be very cautious while going through the Remote Hire process for employment eligibility verification, as they will be liable for errors made by the agents.

By developing a comprehensive onboarding checklist for remote employees, employers can meet I-9 requirements. This checklist must include detailed steps to complete Form I-9 and the list of supporting documents that must accompany the I-9 form. This detailed checklist has to help remote workers understand their responsibilities.

Though verifying I-9 documents remotely could be challenging, employers can use different methods to verify documents successfully. Employers can use electronic signatures, video calls, and remote notary services to verify the I-9 documents of remote employees. This way, they can successfully complete the remote I-9 verification process and adhere to the compliance requirements, as well.

Maintain Ongoing Compliance

I-9 compliance is not a one-time process, and it is an ongoing process. By conducting regular internal audits, employees can ensure compliance with the Form I-9 requirements for remote employees. An internal audit will help employers identify and rectify potential issues and violations, if any. By providing training and education to HR personnel and remote employees, employers can ensure their understanding of responsibilities and keep them updated on changes to Form I-9 regulations.

Check out our article on Internal I-9 Form Corrections and Audit Instructions to know more about conducting an I-9 internal audit.

Best Practices to Prevent Violations

Here are a few best practices employers can implement to minimize the risk of I-9 violations and maintain compliance with I-9 form requirements for remote employees.

Tips to prevent I-9 violations

  • Stay informed about the latest USCIS guidelines related to Form I-9
  • Establish clear document retention policies
  • Educate HR personnel about the I-9 requirements and the procedures involved
  • Have procedures for proper storage of Form I-9 in place
  • Monitor compliance regularly
  • Establish and implement consistent compliance monitoring measures
  • Always use the latest version of Form I-9
  • Make sure all the sections of the form are completely filled out
  • Conduct internal audits to comply with I-9 requirements
  • Offer guidance and assistance to employees to help them complete Form I-9
  • Consult with legal professionals to address specific concerns and ensure compliance.


Employees must ensure compliance with I-9 requirements to avoid penalties and legal consequences. They can prevent violations and navigate the complexity of I-9 compliance by establishing proper onboarding procedures, utilizing efficient remote verification methods, and maintaining ongoing compliance.

Nevertheless, it is recommended to consult legal professionals or use Imagilty, a comprehensive immigration software, to simplify your compliance journey. If you would like to receive regular updates on I-9 compliance, you can keep track of our immigration blog.

Reach us at +1 603 782 4622/+1 617 865 6588 to learn more about how Imagility can help you! 

Form I-9 – Helpful Resources

Form I-9 Playbook
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

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