News & Resources


APA Questions Form I-9 Remote Document Review Proposal

BY: Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq. | 10/24/22

The APA supported the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its efforts to allow alternative Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, document review for remote workers but raised some questions about the criteria DHS will use to select alternatives and the role of employers.

Within three business days after the first day of employment, employers are required to physically examine the documents presented by new employees from the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents to ensure the documents presented appear to be genuine and relate to the employee.

The proposed rule would not directly authorize remote document examination. Instead, it would create a framework under which DHS could test various options, respond to emergencies similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, or implement permanent alternatives based on a specific determination on security, such as the risk of fraud.

The proposed procedures are too vague, APA said. The APA understands the need for testing through a pilot program and temporary procedures because of emergencies, but the provision on “equivalent level of security” as determined by the DHS does not offer employers an understanding of what will be required.

In the request for comments, the DHS proposed that employers be required to retain copies of documents presented through alternatives. The APA said this proposal potentially creates a requirement stricter than the law.

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Alice P. Jacobsohn, Esq., is Director of Government Relations for the APA.