I recently attended an informative webinar on hiring remotely. The presenter, HireRight, is a leading provider of on-demand employment background checks, drug testing, Form I-9 and employment and education verifications.
According to HireRight the I-9 waiver for in-person validation of Form I-9 documents has been waived but only for fully remote businesses who have adopted fully remote policy and no worker is available to physically inspect the Form I-9 Employment Authorization Documents. It is recommended that the documents be inspected via some form of video call such as Zoom or FaceTime and a notation be added to the “Additional Information Fields” stating “CO-VID-19” on Sections 2 or 3. While how the work remote policy will be enforced is not specified but may come into play if you experience an ICE audit.
If you meet the requirements for this temporary waiver the in-person inspection is still required after the end of the national emergency. It is important that you keep records on those hired using this waiver process and the “Additional Information Field” on section 2 or 3 is amended to note ” with the date of the physical inspection.
If your business is not eligible for this temporary waiver, the USCIS permits an employer to identify “any person” as its authorized representative for physically inspecting the new hire’s employment authorization documents and to complete the I-9. This gives employers a bit of flexibility to name someone in physical proximity to be this authorized representative. It is crucial to note that the employer is still liable for any violations in connection with the Form I-9 or the verification process committed by the designated authorized representative. If you choose to use this option, I recommend you do so live on a video conference and immediately verify the Form I-9.
Want to learn more, or have specific questions? Contact me.