In May 2023, the Department of Homeland Security put in place an August 30, 2023, deadline for employers to go back and physically inspect documents of all employees whose documents were remotely verified pursuant to DHS’s COVID 19 temporary flexibilities. Physical inspection of an employee’s Form I-9 acceptable documents has always been a requirement in the I-9 process. With COVID restrictions, and subsequently, an ever-growing remote workforce, the physical inspection requirement has become more and more challenging. Employers have started utilizing the authorized agent option which, before now, was a relatively elusive concept.

In the midst of employers’ compliance efforts to meet the August 30th deadline, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service released a new Form I-9 on August 1, 2023. In conjunction, the Department of Homeland Security also published a notice allowing for alternatives to the Form I-9 physical inspection requirement.

Important rules and eligibility requirements for the alternative procedure

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