As a reminder, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) has announced that employers will be required to comply with all I-9 requirements by July 31, 2023, irrespective of the temporary regulatory waivers from compliance that were permitted during COVID. In effect, all employees onboarded using remote verification must have in-person physical verification of their identity and employment eligibility documentation used for their Form I-9 by August 30, 2023.
Employers that onboarded employees “remotely” since the COVID pandemic began must catch up by August 30 and complete physical re-verification of these individuals employment authorization documents. For employers that have remote employees, there is no prohibition on utilizing a designated represtnative or agent of the employer for purposes of completing Section 2 of the I-9 Form. The designated representative may be an adult family member, friend, notary public (but not one who is being paid to perform this service), or other designated person to act as an agent. Ultimately, however, the employer bears responsibility for any errors in this process, so employers should exercise some diligence in selecting a designated representative.
When the physical reverification is conducted, the designated representative or company official must review the documentation. If the same employer representative reviewed the documents virtually and in person, one should note “COVID-19 Documents – physically examined on (date) by (name)” in the Form I-9, Section 2 “Additional Information” field. However, if the employer representative who virtually verified the documents will not be the same as the person physically examining the Employment Authorization and identification documentation, one needs to complete a new Section 2 of the Form I-9 and attach it to the old Form I-9.