I-9 Verification of Employee Eligibility Reinstated

I-9 Verification of Employee Eligibility Reinstated

Until COVID-19, employers were required to conduct an in-person inspection of I-9 Section 2 documents for new employees.  That required an employee to show a valid passport, driver’s license, and/or social security card in order to verify an employee’s identity and that the employee was eligible to work in the United States.

During the COVID-19 pandemic temporary flexibilities DHS did not require the in-person inspection, but unless there is a reprieve, as of July 31, 2023 it now will again require employers to make in-person verification of Section 2 documents for new hires going forward and employers will have until August 30, 2023 to physically inspect those for employees whose documents were already inspected remotely during COVID-19.  That may be hard to do for remote employees.

Where the inspecting agent is the same person who did the remote inspection during COVID-19, the agent can write “COVID-19” and “documents physically examined,” along with the inspection date, in the Section 2 additional information field on Form I-9 or Section 3 where appropriate.

Where an employer inspecting agent is a different person, the employer must complete a new Section 2 of Form I-9 and attach it to the previously completed remote inspection Form I-9.

If one of the original verification documents has expired, it can still be physically reviewed and verified, but now the employer must distinguish between expired List A or C documents that do not require employment eligibility re-verification from those that do.

And, if an employee no longer has the documents previously presented for remote inspection, and it is not feasible to insert all the new information in the “additional information” box, it is acceptable to complete a new Section 2, with signature, and attach the new Section 2 to the original Section, with a brief explanation in the “additional information” box. Got that?  Please don’t wait.

With all of the remote working and work from home now, getting an in-person inspection of these personal documents may be logistically challenging.  An employer may designate an authorized representative to complete Form I-9 and inspect documents.  See the Instructions for Form I-9[1].  While the designated employer representative does not need to have any particular qualifications, licensing, knowledge, experience or affiliation with the employer, the employer will be liable for any violations of the verification process.  If you need assistance with this process, please feel free to contact us.

We will continue to monitor these issues and our attorneys here at Epps & Coulson, LLP will keep on top of these matters.  Please feel free to contact Dawn at: dcoulson@eppscoulson.com for any questions.

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon


[1] https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/document/forms/i-9instr.pdf