Checklist | Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents

From: Staffing

Checklist | Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents

Checklist | Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents. Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States—either U.S. citizens or authorized foreign nationals. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each individual they hire by completing and retaining the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). Employers must have a completed Form I-9 for every employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986.

On Aug. 1, 2023, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new version of Form I-9. The form’s instructions clarify procedures for employers who are eligible to utilize remote examination as an alternative to physical examination of employees’ documentation. The option for remote verification of documents is available only to employers that participate in E-Verify. The federal government implemented E-Verify to enhance the enforcement of immigration law. While E-Verify is a voluntary program for most employers, some states require employers to use E-Verify as a condition of business licensing, and federal contractors subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause must enroll in the program. Even when it’s not required, utilizing E-Verify to examine Form I-9 documents remotely can help employers maintain security, improve their Form I-9 compliance, limit potential violations and reduce organizational burdens by simplifying the process of verifying employees’ identities and employment eligibility.

This checklist provides an overview of completing remote examination of Form I-9 documents for eligible employers and should not be construed as legal advice. Due to the complex nature of Form I-9 compliance, employers are encouraged to seek legal counsel to discuss and address specific issues and concerns.

Determining Eligibility for Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents

Employer Eligibility

Yes No

Is the organization enrolled in E-Verify?

Only employers who are enrolled in E-Verify have the option to verify employee identity and employment authorization documents remotely.

Is the organization currently in good standing with E-Verify?

USCIS conducts account compliance activities to prevent misuse, abuse, discrimination, breach of privacy and fraudulent use of E-Verify under applicable laws, rules, regulations and agency policies. Organizations are in good standing if they:

·       Are enrolled in E-Verify with respect to all hiring sites that use the alternative procedure to examine documents remotely

·       Use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of newly hired employees in the United States

·       Comply with all other requirements of the E-Verify program

Has the organization adequately trained in-house to use E-Verify?

New E-Verify enrollees and users must complete an E-Verify tutorial that includes fraudulent document awareness training. Existing employers who are already enrolled in E-Verify have access to this tutorial and may retake it at any time.


Implementing Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents

Completing Section 2 of Form I-9

Yes No

Is the organization consistently using the remote verification policy consistently for all employees at each specific hiring site?

Organizations may choose to offer the alternative procedure for remote hires only but continue to apply physical examination procedures to all employees who work on-site or in a hybrid capacity, so long as they do not adopt such a practice for a discriminatory purpose or treat employees differently based on their citizenship, immigration status or national origin (for example, organizations cannot decide that certain employees are not eligible for remote examination of their documentation).


Complying With Procedures for Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents

Procedures for Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents

Yes No

Does the documentation presented reasonably appear to be genuine?

Documents and acceptable receipts must be examined (front and back, if the document is two-sided) and reasonably appear to be genuine and related to the employee who presents them.

Has live video interaction taken place?

Organizations must conduct a live video interaction with the individual presenting the documents to ensure that the documentation reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the individual. The employee must first transmit a copy of the documents to the organization and then present the same documents during the live video interaction.

Has the organization checked the appropriate box?

On the Form I-9 dated “08/01/2023,” check the box to indicate that the organization used an alternative procedure in the Additional Information field in Section 2.

Has the organization correctly annotated the form for remote verification of documents?

On the Form I-9 dated “10/21/2019,” annotate the form with “Alternative Procedure” in the Additional Information field in Section 2.

Please note that organizations do not have to complete this step if using the Form I-9 dated “08/01/2023.” Starting Nov. 1, 2023, employers must only use the form dated “08/01/2023.”

Has a copy of the documentation been retained?

Organizations must retain a clear and legible copy of the front and back of the documents presented.

Has the employer created a case in E-Verify?

Once an employer enters an employee’s Form I-9 information into E-Verify, E-Verify confirms the employee’s employment eligibility by comparing the employee’s Form I-9 information against records from the U.S. Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The process of verifying an individual’s employment eligibility is referred to as a “case.”


Completing Form I-9 for Reverification or Rehire Conducted Remotely

Procedures for Completing Form I-9 for Reverification or Rehire Conducted Remotely

Yes No

Has the organization completed the remote documentation examination for a rehire or reverification?

If employers are completing the remote documentation examination for a rehire or reverification, check the box on Form I-9 Edition “08/01/2023” in Supplement B.

Has the organization completed Form I-9 for the reverification or rehire?

Continue to complete the Form I-9 according to Form I-9 instructions and related guidance on I-9 Central and in the M-274 Handbook for Employers.

Employers do not need to create a new E-Verify case to recertify the employment eligibility of a current employee.


Retaining Form I-9 Documents

Form I-9 Document Retention Requirements

Yes No

Has the organization retained Form I-9 documents examined during remote verification?

Employers must retain a clear copy (front and back, if two-sided) of all documents examined in a paper or electronic format, or in an acceptable combination, for as long as the employee works for the organization, plus the specified period after their employment has ended.


Form I-9 requirements impact all employers. By understanding Form I-9 requirements and remote verification procedures, employers can better comply with all requirements and avoid costly mistakes. Implementing an effective Form I-9 onboarding process can help organizations reduce errors and decrease their legal exposure.

For more information about Form I-9 and E-Verify, contact George Belcher Evans & Wilmer today.

This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state or local standards. Consult your licensed representative at George Belcher Evans & Wilmer or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements. © 2023 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Download: Remote Examination of Form I-9 Documents Checklist