Can I-9 Be Done Remotely? (The Answer Is Yes)

I-9s can be a pain to complete. You have to set up an appointment, go in person, and wait for your number to be called. This process can take hours. Luckily, not all I-9s need to be completed in person anymore.

Remote I-9s are becoming more popular as they provide many benefits, including saving time and money for both the company and the employee.

If you’re considering implementing remote I-9s into your H.R. processes, read this blog post on what you need to know about them.

Keep reading to discover all of the intricacies that go into I-9 documents and much more.

History of the I-9 Form

The I-9 form, known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, was first introduced in 1987. The state’s goal was to help employers verify the employment eligibility of their employees. The I-9 form consisted of one page and could be completed.

In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a new version of the I-9 form, adding an extra section for foreign nationals. In 2009, another update was made to the state which included provisions for completing and filing I forms.

Today, there are two ways to complete an I-9: online or on paper. However, if you’re looking to complete an I-9, you can only do so by using the online option:

Remote I-9 Forms Explained

The Department of Homeland Security states that employers can complete and sign an I-9 form remotely. Only as long as they meet all of the following criteria.

You must use an electronic employment verification system (EVS). This is defined as any technology capable of creating, storing, retrieving, transferring. It’s also possible to transmit I-9 information with respect to your employees.

For example, you could choose to download Form I- 94 data into a portable storage device like a CD or USB drive. This will then enable you to upload this data onto EVS software for completion.

However, it’s important to note that there are specific requirements regarding what type of media can be used for this process to be valid. The employer must have a representative physically present at the worksite to inspect and verify documents.

Electronic signatures are acceptable. If you meet all of these requirements, you can complete your employees’ I- forms remotely using an EVS system.

However, please keep in mind that not all employers qualify to do so and it’s always best to speak with an H.R. professional. You can also talk to an immigration specialist before attempting to complete an I-9 form remotely.

What Is USCIS Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification?

Individuals seeking employment in the U.S. must be able to provide proof of their identity and immigration status. This includes both employees as well as employers (or authorized representatives).
Use Form I-9 to ensure that you’re hiring the right person for your business.

All U.S. employers must complete this form correctly and every time. It’s important not just when there is an issue but also as a general practice of quality control.

The U.S. has strict immigration laws that require all employers, including non-citizens and employees must complete form I-9 information. This is true for every individual they hire within our borders or face serious consequences like fines up to $ millennia ($20 000). You must keep this document updated as well so make sure your information is correct at any time.

The employee must attest to his or her employment authorization on the form. Present acceptable documents that prove he/she has legal status in America.

The employer will examine these items with care by checking where they were issued as well as what kind of work is associated with them. All while maintaining accuracy during this process.

As an employer, it is important to maintain a copy of Form I-9 because you could be subject to government inspection. The acceptable documents for your employees’ employment records can be found on the page last in this booklet. Make sure that any changes made are also documented with updated copies.

Keep one at hand and make them available when necessary. This is so they will always have what’s needed during business or otherwise interacting with clients/customers as well.

Why I-9 Can Be Done Remotely Now

There are many benefits to using remote I-9 documents. For example, it saves time and money. The process used for completing this form is all done electronically nowadays.

This will keep the entire company in compliance with federal law when uploading employees’ information. This is true for a central database that’s easily accessible by other departments or locations.

By implementing these procedures you can ensure compliance even if located in multiple states or countries. Each has different updates on what they accept as valid documentation for employees working within.

It also helps streamline processes between hiring managers. This is because one individual isn’t doing every step of the way themselves anymore which reduces errors majorly.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has been advocating on behalf of employees’ right to virtual I-9 inspection. There are still some steps in place however like final approval. These must be done before moving forward so not everything is completely automated quite yet.

They note that the policy was first issued in March 2020 due COVID 19 pandemic, and it’s been extended 11 times since. They urge us not to give up until there is permanent word from H.R. about whether or how this will become a reality in the future.

H.R. professionals are asking the Department of Homeland Security for a permanent rule. This would allow them to complete Section 2 on Form I-9 by video conference.

The need is critical because many H.R. staff members must still travel in person. This takes time away from their work. It can make it difficult to deal with employees who have been abroad without permission.

Simplified I-9 Form

The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement has requested federal legislation allowing virtual inspection. This is not to burden employers but also give those working remotely increased accessibility.

To make completing employment forms more accessible and more efficient. This is true for both employers and employees alike. We compiled a list with some helpful suggestions.

They include updating guidance on technical errors related to I-9s. This is for clarity regarding what constitutes good faith made while filling documents manually. It also applies digitally through various methods such as scanned signatures versus thumbprints.

The Department of Labor is issuing a simplified I-9 form that employers can use when required to complete an electronic version. The updated instructions will allow them more flexibility in case unexpected issues arise.

The process has been streamlined, so it’s easier for both employees and businesses alike. Check out the easy remote verification for I-9 forms here https://workbright.com/verify-i9-remote/.

This new change also includes guidance on technical errors or violations related to completing Form I-9, instead of having unclear standards set by previous versions’ rules. This way, companies have clear expectations about what mistakes may result from reasonable faith efforts at compliance.

How to Ensure I-9 Remote Compliance: Create a Clear and Concise Policy

Notaries are an excellent resource for employers looking to verify new employees. They can provide helpful insight into how your business should enforce the I-9 form. It will help avoid any problems that might arise when hiring abroad or sending paperwork back home with an overseas worker.

The Department of Labor maintains lists by state (link) as well as one centralized site offering nationwide coverage. This is the National Notary Association Member list.

When applying for a new job, it is essential to find someone who has experience with the Form I-9 process. While many resources are available locally and nationwide, that can help with this verification step. This will assist in order get your paperwork straightened out as quickly as possible.

It is recommended to choose from nearby organizations such as H.R. professionals at other companies or even attorneys:

Provide Clarity on How to Fill the Form

More than ever before, notaries are being called upon to verify the identity of someone. However, there’s one crucial detail that many people miss. They’re only verifying documents and information provided by individuals- not themselves.

It would seem like a slight distinction, but it can have enormous consequences. This is true when you consider how much power differentiates your average officer in this field carries with them during their day job.
Notaries should not stamp their seals on the forms they are reviewing.

They’re simply tasked with verifying that information is true and accurate.
To ensure the proper I-9 is completed, employers need to send out a standardized letter. It should contain detailed instructions and communicate how crucial timely completion of this form can be.

This includes careful instruction on what documents are acceptable and details about where in section 2 should be filled next. Agents will often review only Section 1 before checking off their answers if there isn’t enough time available. This is because they have been told immediately following filling out Part A: “Now, please go over these questions.”

When submitting forms to companies, you must follow their instructions. Make sure your handwriting matches what they asked for and include asked questions. Add a sample completed form, so there are no surprises when returning the paperwork.

Review All I-9s Completed Remotely

The process of completing an employer’s I-9 form should be carefully monitored. It’s always important to validate that all information entered into the database has not been compromised. Ensure there aren’t any other issues that might draw scrutiny from auditors.

One of the most common mistakes companies make is providing false documents to their employees. Companies may also accidentally transpose information on a document. This can lead them into trouble as well when E-

Verify denies access or authenticity checks need completing. This is because there’s no way for you to know what was initially sent in.

For instance, social security number is instead listed under “Personal ID Information. Ensure all relevant paperwork has been retained, so these issues don’t occur.

Employers should be aware of the three-day deadline for completing I 9 forms—these mirror similar regulations found in e-verify.

Make sure everything gets pulled together quickly once ready. If you do not turn over this information within those limited times, then there will be no way to get it done quick enough. This is because missing even one deadline can lead to severe consequences.

Common Mistakes Made When Filing the I-9 Form Remotely

Some of the most common mistakes made when filing I-9 remotely are as follows:

  • Employers do not provide instructions for employees to complete the I-94 form
  • Employees are unsure of which documents they should use when completing their forms
  • Not verifying all information in Section One of the form
  • Entering incorrect data into the I-94 fields on the form
  • Failing to enter all required information on the record, such as name and date of birth
  • Submitting an unsigned or incomplete form

All of these mistakes can lead to significant delays in getting your new employee started. It is essential to take extra care when completing these forms.

Ensure you have a notary review of all remote I-9 Forms before submission!

Your Forms Taken Care of the Right Way

Now that you understand the principles of remote I-9 applications and their history, you are well on your way to a successful submission. Don’t fear getting help from a specialist or notary if you’re having trouble.

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By Malik