The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a new rule that would allow the Domestic Secretary of Homeland Security to allow alternative procedures for inspecting identity and work authorization.
The form I-9 in 2022 would give Homeland Security more flexibility in how it handles these inspections.
Stakeholders request that the inspection process be significantly streamlined. If the proposed changes in Form I-9 in 2022 comes into effect, the new rules would simplify the examination process.
What’s Going On with Form I-9 in 2022
Employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, that work in a remote setting due to the COVID-19 precautions. Are exempted from I-9’s physical inspection requirements until the employee returns to, “non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis,”.
Also if the Department of Homeland Security terminates the current exception permitting remote virtual flexibilities, whichever is earlier.
The new rule will go into effect on August 19, and will allow employers to use an electronic Form I-9 in 2022 for all new hires.
As long as they are able to verify the identity and work authorization of their employees through an online database.
Employers will also have the option to continue using paper forms if they prefer. The DHS only requires employers to inspect a worker’s identity in person for those who report to the work location.
This means that if an employee works remotely, their employer does not have to verify their identity in person and can be done virtually.
Virtual inspections are becoming more and more popular as technology advances. This is because they are more convenient and can be done from anywhere in the world.
All you need is an internet connection and you can be up and running in no time. Virtual inspection review can be done via video call, web-based video conferencing, fax, and email. This remote verification exemption is set to expire on Oct. 31, 2022.
While the details are still unknown, the proposed change may serve as an alternate to the in person verification procedure. Like the process temporarily in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be legally employed in the United States. All new hires must provide their employer with certain employment authorization documents. This should be obtained and inspected virtually within three days of the new hire’s first date of employment.
In 2021, the DHS solicited public input about Form I-9 document examination practices. Homeland Security’s goal is to get feedback from the public on how it can best ensure that employers use valid documents. While verifying the identity and employment eligibility of their employees.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that one in four took a job at home as a result of the pandemic.
Homeland Security is considering extending some pandemic-related flexibilities to examine employees’ identity.
These flexibilities include being able to work from home and telecommute, as well as flexible work schedules.
On August 18, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security published a rule in the Federal Register for public comment. This would give the Secretary of the department the authority to allow the form I-9 2022 document inspection procedures.
An opportunity for public comment on the proposed rule is available through October 17, 2022.
Homeland Security wants public feedback about the benefits and costs associated with changes to the issuing authority of the I-9 form process, that includes:
- Modifying Form I-9 2022 to permit an employer to state if it inspected documents remotely;
- Changes to document retention requirements about those documents inspected virtually;
- Imposing training requirements on employers about topics such as fraudulent document detection or anti-discrimination measures;
- Requiring that employers enroll in E-Verify to use any alternate procedures; and
- Limiting the availability of alternate procedures to those employers who have been subject to employment eligibility violations.
SHRM’s View on the state on Form I-9 in 2022
“Not surprisingly, many SHRM members desire to have a permanent virtual I-9 option,” said Emily Dickens, chief of staff and head of government affairs for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
The burden of downloading and filling in-person I-9 form paperwork has increased. Hence, modern technology now offers other ways that are equal or superior.
Moreover, a remote I-9 preparation option would provide remote access to the entire on-boarding process.
DHS could then test different strategies for remote document examination under this framework.
This would aid in a more efficient and accurate document examination process. While reducing the need for interaction between individuals.
Employers are encouraged to submit comments on the entirety of this proposed rule, identified by Docket No. ICEB-2021-0010, through the Federal eRule making Portal at www.regulations.gov. All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this rulemaking.
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs is currently reviewing the DHS’s proposed plan. As the final step before publishing a proposed rule in the Federal Register.
Once the DHS publishes a proposed rule in the Federal Register, there will be time designated for public comment. Subsequently, the department will review comments and determine whether to move forward with a final rule.
Securecheck360‘s paperless form I-9 2022 verification system is a secure, convenient way to verify the identity and employment eligibility of your employees – no matter where they are located.
With our easy-to-use online platform, you can quickly and easily verify an employee’s form I-9 employment from any location.