Welcome, dear employers! This article is a must-read if you have hired new workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have important news about the I-9 form, which is used to check if new workers can legally work in the United States.
A. What is the I-9 Verification?
When you hire a new worker, you need to make sure they are allowed to work in the United States. This is where the I-9 form comes in. Both you and the worker need to fill out this form. The worker shows you documents like a passport or driver’s license, and you check them to make sure they are real.
B. Remote Checks During COVID-19
Because of COVID-19, the government said it was okay to check these documents over a video call instead of in person. This started in March 2020. It was a way to keep people safe during the pandemic.
C. Changes are Coming!
But now, things are changing. The special rules that allowed for video checks will end on July 31, 2023. This means that if you checked a worker’s documents over a video call, you need to schedule a time to see these documents in person.
II. Understanding The Remote Verification
A. Why Remote Verification Was Used
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it became risky for people to meet in person. To keep everyone safe, the government said employers could check a worker's documents (like a passport or driver's license) over a video call. This was a big help for hiring new workers without risking anyone's health.
B. The Special Rules
These special rules were called "temporary flexibilities". They started in March 2020. The rules said that employers did not need to meet new workers face-to-face to check their documents. Employers could look at these documents over a video call, or workers could send a picture or a scan of the documents by email or a web portal. These rules were looked at again and updated in March 2021.
III. The New Requirement: In-Person Verification
A. What is the New Announcement?
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (or ICE for short) made an announcement. They said that employers need to meet with workers in person to check their documents if they used a video call or remote way before. This is very important for making sure everything is correct and legal.
B. Why In-Person Verification is Important
Meeting in person to check documents is the usual way, and it's very good for making sure that the documents are real, and that the worker can legally work in the United States. Because the remote checks were a special rule for the COVID-19 pandemic, now employers need to follow the usual rule again.
C. The Deadline: August 30, 2023
This is very important: employers have to meet with workers and check their documents in person by August 30, 2023. This is the final date. If you're an employer, please mark this date on your calendar and make plans to meet with any workers that you checked remotely.
IV. Steps for Employers
A. Scheduling In-Person Verifications
If you're an employer, it's time to take action. You should get in touch with your workers whose documents were checked remotely. Set up a meeting with them to see and check their documents in person. Make sure you do this before the August 30, 2023 deadline.
B. Making Notes on the I-9 Form
When you see the documents in person, you will need to make some notes on the I-9 form. This is to show that you have now checked the documents in person. Write “documents physically examined” on the form, along with the date you checked them.
C. Staying in the Clear
Doing these steps will help you follow the rules and keep your business in good shape. It’s important to make sure all the paperwork for your workers is correct and up-to-date. This will help avoid any problems with the government.
V. Looking to the Future: Possible Changes to Form I-9 Procedures
A. New Rules Might Be Coming
The government has been thinking about making some more changes to the rules for checking documents. These changes might let employers check documents remotely even after the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not certain yet, but it's good to know that changes might happen.
B. Keeping an Eye Out for the Final Rule
The government is expected to publish a “Final Rule” that will talk about these possible changes. Employers should pay attention to the news and government announcements to learn if there are new rules they need to follow.
C. Staying Informed
As an employer, it’s smart to stay informed about the rules for hiring workers. This will help you to always do things the right way and keep your business running smoothly.
VI. Starting the In-Person Verification Process
A. Taking the First Step
If you’re an employer, you don’t have to wait until the last minute. You can start planning in-person meetings with your workers now. It’s a good idea to start early so that you have enough time to meet with everyone.
B. Who Needs In-Person Verification?
Remember, this is for workers who were hired on or after March 20, 2020, and had their documents checked over a video call or another remote way.
C. How Notariando Can Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the process or you're unsure how to properly conduct in-person verifications, don't worry! At Notariando, we're experts in handling documents, and we’re here to help you with the I-9 verification process. Our extensive experience with IDs and documents means you can trust us to guide you through this process accurately and efficiently. Reach out to us for assistance, and we'll make sure you're on the right track!
D. Following the Rules
Make sure to follow the steps we talked about earlier in this article. This will help you make sure that everything is done the right way. It’s always good to double-check and make sure that all the papers are filled out correctly.
A. Summing it Up
We talked about some important changes to the rules for checking documents of new workers. The special rules that allowed checking documents remotely will end soon. Employers will need to meet with workers in person to check their documents.
B. Don't Forget the Deadline!
The deadline for doing this is August 30, 2023. It’s very important to mark this date and make sure to meet with all the necessary workers before this day.
C. Stay Safe and Informed
Keep looking out for news about any more changes to the rules. Doing things the right way will help keep your business safe and in good standing with the government.
D. Thank You
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We wish you all the best in following these new rules and continuing to grow your business!
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Please be aware that the information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. The author of this article is not an attorney and makes no claims to be providing legal guidance. Laws and regulations can change, and the content in this article may not reflect the most current legal standards or interpretations. For specific legal advice or information regarding the Form I-9 and employment verification processes, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a qualified attorney or seek guidance from a reputable legal source. The author and publisher of this article disclaim any liability or responsibility for any actions taken or not taken based on the content of this article.