When completing Form I-9, the employer or agent must physically examine each document presented in the presence of the employee to determine whether it appears reasonably authentic and relates to the employee presenting it. It is forbidden to view or verify documents via webcam. The only thing required by law is that this work be done in person. It is NOT enough for your employee to show you their documents via email or even live via webcam. Some relief is provided to remote employees, as employers can designate anyone to review the new employee`s documents and complete and sign page 2 of Form I-9. Employers usually rely on notaries, lawyers or local employees of employment agencies to do this. Employers have only three days to verify the authenticity of a new employee`s admission documents. Because this must be done in person, employers basically have two options for reviewing I-9 documents for remote employees: The flexibilities discussed here do not preclude employers from beginning personal verification of identity and employment eligibility documents for employees hired on or after March 20, 2020, at their discretion, and relying on the Provide flexibility for remote inspection. The current crisis supports the argument that USCIS should find a new way to allow employers to remotely verify work permits, said Ann Cun, founder and executive counsel of Accel Visa Attorneys, an immigration law firm in San Leandro, California. “Such a method would be to allow teleconferencing during the review of I-9 documents and allow employees to fax or email documents to employers for record keeping.” Notaries have a lot of experience filling out government forms and reviewing documents, making them a responsible choice, but they should be clearly informed of their responsibilities and remind them to simply sign, not seal! The federal government requires all new employees to provide documentation proving that they can legally work in the United States. For citizens, it can be a passport, driver`s license or social security card.
Non-citizens must present documents proving that they are legally resident in the country and have permission to work. Once normal operations resume, all employees who were on board with remote screening must report to their employer within three business days to personally verify identity and employment eligibility documents for Form I-9, Verification of Employment Eligibility. Once the documents have been physically verified, the employer must include the “physically verified documents” with the date of the inspection in the “Additional Information in Section 2” box of Form I-9 or, if applicable, Section 3. In other words, the person who inspects the original identification documents in the presence of the employee and describes them in section 2 must be the person who signs the certificate referred to in section 2 as the employer`s representative. whoever that person is. A little-known provision in the rules of Form I-9 allows the employer to appoint an “authorized officer” to complete Form I-9. The employer may authorize anyone (except the new employee himself) to verify Form I-9 and identification documents. Describe the documents on the form; and complete the certification in Section 2. A notary may be a viable option for completing Form I-9 for remote environments. But not because of their official position. Employers often ask their new remote employees to contact a notary because they are easy to find and because notaries are used to identifying their clients, verifying official documents and testifying signatures. Not all distance rental services on Form I-9 are the same.
Some check documents via webcam, which is prohibited. Others ask the employee to send digital copies of their ID to the department, which then completes Section 2, which is also a serious violation of the form`s rules. Others do not audit and do not really form a network of providers, but turn to notaries in the employee`s area on a case-by-case basis. Some require you to sign a contract, subscribe to their software package, or pay a monthly fee, regardless of how often you use their service. On the form, an employee must confirm their work permit. The employee must also provide their employer with acceptable documents proving their identity and work permit. The employer must review the employment eligibility and identification documents presented by an employee to determine whether the documents appear reasonably authentic and relate to the employee, and record the information on the document on Form I-9. The list of accepted documents can be found on the last page of the form.
Employers must retain Form I-9 for a period of time and make it available to authorized officials for inspection. U. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said it is not changing its policy requiring the employer or authorized representative — physically present with the new employee — to examine identification documents to determine if they appear genuine. The I-9 process clearly hasn`t kept pace, said John Fay, president of the LawLogix division of Hyland Software, a company specializing in cloud-based I-9 compliance services, electronic verification and immigration. “While USCIS recently released a new version of the form, the actual steps to verify employment eligibility were blocked in the 1980s. And therein lies the challenge for employers who want to engage employees from home as part of their overall coronavirus policy. “Electronic services automate most of the process and make it almost foolproof. But employers still need a real person, on-site with a remote environment, to physically view their documents and vouch for their authenticity by signing Section 2.
Use Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. All U.S. employers must correctly complete Form I-9 for each person they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and non-citizens. The employee and employer (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. Form rules must be followed, whether you define locally or remotely. A personal meeting is required; Employers who circumvent the rules are subject to a hefty fine for any false form. If state auditors find a trend or practice of violating the rules, the penalties will be removed. Practices that lead to discrimination or the employment of unauthorized workers may result in criminal penalties. And it`s not just business owners who face imprisonment; Recent prosecutions have also reached subordinate executives and superiors.
While the Department of Homeland Security is aware of how difficult this can be, they don`t bow at all. This means employers need to find a way to conduct an I-9 check remotely. [SHRM Toolkit for Members Only: U.S. Compliance with I-9 and E-Verify Requirements] In today`s workforce, you could hire people who live hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from your base. This creates a real problem for employers who hire remote workers. Remote rental I-9 verification services such as Verify I-9 offer a simple solution; You will connect your new employee with a trained and competent person who will correctly and legally complete Form I-9 during the required personal interview. The advantages are numerous: And, according to Carlson, Faegre Drinker`s lawyer, the problem ultimately remains that the new employee must be physically present at the authorized person`s home during the examination: “Even if an employer`s representative is used, it must still be personal and cannot be done by fax, scan, email, FaceTime, Skype or webcam.” Fay said once it is determined who will serve as the authorized agent, employers will need to develop a clearly defined process on how to fill the I-9 remote. Detailed instructions must be sent to the employee and their representative.
Since 2009, I-9 audits have increased by nearly 2,000%. And considering that an average of 68% of forms contain errors, this is an issue that employers really need to focus on. Human resources managers can easily fill out Form I-9 and file it for local employees, but what about I-9 for remote employees? “You may appoint an authorized representative to act on your behalf to complete Section 2. An authorized representative can be any person you designate to complete and sign Form I-9 on your behalf. You will be responsible for any violation related to the verification form or process, including any violation related to the verification form or process, including any violation of employer sanctions laws committed by the person designated to act on your behalf. Filling out Form I-9 for a remote employee is always difficult. However, using a competent and experienced agent can eliminate the headaches associated with complying with the rules of Form I-9. Choosing the right agent can significantly reduce the risk of costly fines in the event of an I-9 government audit. DHS will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance as required. Employers should monitor the DHS and AIC websites for additional updates regarding the status of flexibility in completing Form I-9. You can open the English or Spanish version of the form, instructions, and add-ons in any browser.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not require these authorized officers to have any particular qualifications.