Revised Form I-9 Incorporates Option for Remote Employee Verification

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a revised edition of form I-9, employment eligibility verification. The updated form I-9 has a revised format that allows eligible employers to indicate that an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents were examined remotely per the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) final rule with alternative procedures for remote document examination.

Format Updates to the New Form I-9

The revised form I-9 is shorter and moves certain sections to standalone supplements for as-needed use. Other notable changes include a checkbox for employers to indicate the remote inspection of an employee’s I-9 verification documentation, a revised list of acceptable I-9 verification documents, and links to information about automatic extension of employment authorization. Additionally, the revised form I-9 is fillable on tablets and mobile devices.

Employer Eligibility for the Alternative Procedure

The new procedure for remote inspection is a pilot program and is limited to employers that are participants in good standing in E-Verify. Good standing requires that an employer has enrolled in E-Verify for all hiring sites in the United States using the alternative procedure and that the employer complies with all E-Verify program requirements. The employer must continue to maintain good standing in E-Verify to use the alternative procedure.

Overview of Alternative Procedure for Remote Employee Verification

The DHS final rule, which went into effect on August 1, 2023, allows an eligible employer to perform remote inspection of an employee’s I-9 verification documents. Under the rule, an employer must comply with the following requirements:

  1. The eligible employer must examine relevant form I-9 documentation (both the front and back for two-sided documents) to ensure the documentation presented is genuine.
  2. After the employee submits the verification documents to the employer, the employer must conduct a live video interaction with the employee and again inspect the documents and ensure that the documentation is for the particular employee.
  3. The employer must indicate on the form I-9 that it used an alternative procedure to examine the employee’s documentation.
  4. The employer must retain a clear and legible copy of the documentation (front and back, if applicable).
  5. In case of an audit or investigation by the federal government, the employer must make available clear and legible copies of identity and employment authorization documentation provided by the employee and verified by the employer.

Consistent Use of the Alternative Procedure for Employees

The alternative procedure allowing for remote verification of the form I-9 is optional, but if an employer offers the alternative procedure to some employees at a specific site, then the employer must offer the procedure to all employees at that site. An employer may choose to offer the alternative procedure only for its remote employees and continue to physically inspect documentation for onsite or hybrid employees. However, an employer must be sure to avoid discriminatory practices.


With the proliferation of remote employment over the past years, the new form I-9 and DHS final rule are welcome changes. An employer must always stay up to date on policy changes to be compliant with current laws and regulations.


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.