I-9 Madness and the New Remote Process

By: Kirti Kalra

At first sight, the short I-9 form appears to be straight forward and easy. However, it is increasingly common for employers to make mistakes when filing I-9 forms. Typically, these errors go unnoticed until the authorities conduct an I-9 audit. Unfortunately, during an audit it’s too late to fix any mistakes. Since businesses can be fined for each mistake, this can often result in thousands of dollars in fines.

General Steps to avoid mistakes:

  • Designate certain employees within the organization to complete the I-9 process.
  • Train all designated employees in the process and make it their responsibility to keep up with the changes.
  • Preach consistency to your I-9 team, not only is it helpful, but also required.
  • Be timely. This process must be completed within 3 business days of a new employee joining.
  • Make sure there is a designated person set to re-verify the I-9 forms that require it.
  • Assign an employee to respond to the authorities when the organization is issued a notice of audit.
  • Most importantly, conduct internal audits and fix issues found.  Instead of hiding your mistakes and filing a new form, companies should make corrections on the form per official I-9 instructions and keep all accompanying documents..  Officers will look more favorably in situations, where the business admits their mistake and works to correct it, than those that do not have an internal audit process.

Remote Verify – Temporary COVID policy or Permanent new policy?

Competing the I-9 form has traditionally had been a process that had to be completed in person.  This allowed the employer and employee to meet and verify the documents to examine the authenticity of the employment authorization. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when face to face interactions were discouraged to combat the ongoing health crisis, the in-person requirement was temporarily suspended. This policy sunset earlier this year. 

Shortly after ending the temporary policy, the authorities debuted a new I-9 form allowing remote verification. Debuting August 1, 2023, the new form allowed individuals to continue to verify new employees remotely given they adhere to the following easy steps:

  1. Enroll in E-Verify.
  2. Remotely examine the new employee via live video appearance.
  3. Use the correct version of the I-9 form, dated August 1, 2023.
  4. Retain copies of all documents used to fill out I-9 form.
  5. Create a case in E-Verify.


The I-9 process can be daunting for big and small businesses. Please contact the trusted team at Chugh, LLP, if you have any specific questions or would like a detailed review of the process.

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