Heard at SHRM23: How to manage the end of I-9 virtual verification (and avoid an audit)

Keeping up with the environment around I-9s and virtual verification could be a full-time job these days. Fortunately, we have you covered. Our editors attended John Fay’s timely seminar at SHRM23 on I-9s to get the scoop on how to handle the end of virtual verification, manage in-person verification for all those remote hires, and what to expect with the new form coming out later this year. Here are some of the most pressing HR audience questions and what you need to know.

What’s going on with I-9s?

ICE will terminate the virtual verification option for I-9s on July 31st. Employers will no longer be allowed to inspect documentation virtually for any new hires at the end of this month. Starting on August 1st, all new hire I-9s must be verified in person.

What about the people we hired using virtual I-9 verification?

ICE allowed virtual verification from March 20, 2020 until July 31, 2023. Any hires during that time frame that you virtually verified will need to be reverified in person. Employers have until August 30 to reverify their virtual I-9s.

What happens after the August deadline?

After the physical reverification deadline, employers can be audited by ICE and fined for each instance of non-compliance. Remember, employers can be fined for substantive violations without any opportunity to correct them beforehand. For technical violations, employers have at least 10 days to make corrections ahead of fines.

Do we have to reverify every single virtually verified I-9 over the past 3 years?

Not quite. If the employee is no longer with the organization, it’s water under the bridge. You do not have to reverify anyone whose employment has been severed. Fay recommends you just write a note on the employee’s I-9 with the date of employment termination.

What if the original document is now expired?

That’s ok, the employee can provide new documentation for the physical inspection. It can be any I-9 acceptable document, and does not have to be the same document used during the initial virtual verification.

Resource Note: John Fay, Director of Product Strategy at Equifax Workforce Solutions, offers timely, actionable advice to Business Management Daily subscribers several times each year. Register for his latest webinar on July 21st and learn how to manage your I-9s, prepare your paperwork to pass an audit, and understand critical form changes coming down the pike.