Remote document verification authorized if you use e-verify
Effective November 1, 2023, employers must use the updated I-9 form that was issued by USCIS in August. You can access the new form here: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9
As previously reported, the COVID-era rule allowing remote document verification has expired. However, if you use E-Verify, you can still remotely verify I-9 documentation using the appropriate USCIS procedures:
A. What does the alternative procedure entail?
Within three business days of an employee's first day of employment, a qualified employer (or an authorized representative acting on such an employer's behalf, such as a third-party vendor) who chooses to use the alternative procedure must:
1. Examine copies (front and back, if the document is two-sided) of Form I–9 documents or an acceptable receipt to ensure that the documentation presented reasonably appears to be genuine;
2. Conduct a live video interaction with the individual presenting the document(s) to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and related to the individual. The employee must first transmit a copy of the document(s) to the employer (per Step 1 above) and then present the same document(s) during the live video interaction;
3. Indicate on the Form I–9, by completing the corresponding box, that an alternative procedure was used to examine documentation to complete Section 2 or for reverification, as applicable;
4. Retain, consistent with applicable regulations, a clear and legible copy of the documentation (front and back if the documentation is two-sided).
Don't forget that employers are required to re-verify existing employees that were remotely verified under the COVID-era rules. If you did not use E-Verify at the time of hire and remote verification, you must do this the old-fashioned way by physically examining the documents or by having an authorized agent do it: https://www.staffinglegalnews.com/remotremote-i-9s-ending-what-staffing-firms-need-to-knowe-i-9s-ending-what-you-need-to-know/