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What Business Leaders Need to Know About New I-9 Verification Rules

Aug 11, 2023
Mary A. Rizzuti
Mary Hogan

Form I-9 is an eligibility form required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to verify an employee's identity and legal work eligibility. There could be legal complications if an employer does not complete the form correctly, include the proper documents for verification and/or follow the appropriate process to remain in compliance with the regulations. Properly verifying an employee's eligibility for employment is a critical part of the hiring process. 

While the traditional, in-person physical document inspection requirements for the Form I-9 were suspended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) during COVID-19, employers were given the flexibility to review documents remotely. However, that flexibility ended as of July 31, 2023. Now, employers must ensure that all I-9s that were initially completed remotely are retroactively updated in accordance with the alternatives set forth by DHS. no later than August 30, 2023.   

In July 2023, it was announced that E-Verify, a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm eligibility, was an acceptable alternative procedure for the Form I-9. Employers that meet certain requirements may choose this alternative procedure in lieu of physically examining Form I-9 documentation that had been examined remotely under the COVID-19 protocols.   

The DHS also released a new Form I-9 in August 2023. The previous version was issued in 2019 and expires on October 31, 2023. Starting November 1, 2023, employers must use the new Form I-9.   Navigating these changes can be confusing, especially with a fast-approaching deadline.  

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Mary A. Rizzuti

Mary Rizzuti is a Partner with Eisner Advisory Group LLC and the Practice Leader of Compensation Resources.

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