Employers in the United States may be able to streamline their onboarding of new employees now that the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security issued a new version of the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form, effective Aug. 1. This form will allow qualifying employers to avoid the actual, and often time consuming, physical inspection of employee documents and, instead, verify them remotely via video calls.

Use of this new edition will become mandatory for all employers after Oct. 31. Until then, they can continue to use the prior version.

Among the changes to the form are:

            1.         Sections 1 and 2 are now on a single page;

            2.         The previous Preparer / Translator certification is now a separate supplement (to be                   used as needed;

            3.         The previous Section 3 (for reverifications and rehiring former employees) is also                                     a separate supplement;

             4.         The new form can be completed on tablets and mobile devices (after downloads);

             5.         Better clarity regarding acceptable documents including filing receipts and links to                    additional information;

             6.         Discussed below, a checkbox for qualifying employers who remotely review                           employee documents (the “alternative procedure”).