United States: Permanent Virtual I-9 Verification for E-Verify Employers

Published on Jul 27, 2023

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule, effective August 1, that allows employers to have an alternative procedure for remote I-9 employment verification. Also known as “permanent virtual verification,” this alternative procedure allows employers who participate in E-Verify and are in good standing (“qualified employer”) to have the option to conduct verification electronically with a live video call interaction.

Since the inception of the Form I-9 in 1986, the process of employment eligibility verification had relied on physical examination of documents in-person. Virtual verification was introduced as an exception during the COVID-19 pandemic and was set to expire on July 31. Under this new rule, virtual verification will be a permanent feature of I-9 verification process.

Qualified employers may opt to use virtual verification for all employees at the same worksite, or use virtual verification for remote employees and physical verification for those who work on-site in hybrid capacity so long as the employer is consistent in their practice.

A revised version of Form I-9 will become available on August 1 to reflect this change. There will be a checkbox qualified employers can use to indicate they remotely examined identity and employment authorization documents under the new virtual verification procedure. Employers can use the current Form I-9 (edition date 10/21/19) through October 31. Starting November 1, all employers must use the new Form I-9.

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