As an employer of remote workers, you face additional challenges in completing the Form I-9. Although you need to verify a remote worker’s work authorization documents within three days of their start date, the employee may live a substantial distance from your company and may be unable to visit your office. Because you need to complete the form in person, you cannot use Skype or any other video technology. Therefore, you need to have a policy in place for remote workers complying with the Form I-9 requirements.
Use a Trusted Representative
Create a policy stating which types of individuals may act as trusted representatives to complete the I-9 for you. You may base your choices on prior experience or select groups of professionals who should be able to carry out the duty. HR professionals at nearby companies, local librarians, attorneys, accountants, state workforce agency staff or any other person familiar with the I-9 process should be able to complete the verification. Keep in mind that some states restrict who can complete the form or may have other requirements. For example, California requires anyone completing an I-9 to be bonded as an immigration consultant. Ensure you stay compliant with all applicable laws.
Ensure the chosen representative clearly understands their role. A notary public must know they are not notarizing the I-9 and should not stamp a notary seal on it. The notary simply needs to review the forms of identification, complete part 2 of the form and attest that the information is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge. You may want to send a standardized letter to both the employee and the agent instructing them on how to complete the I-9. Describe the entire process, include detailed instructions and communicate the importance of completing the I-9 within your desired timeframe. Include frequently asked questions, a sample of a completed form and directions for returning the form to your company.
Review Completed Forms
Ensure there are no issues that need addressing. For example, make sure the correct documents were accepted, the information is not missing or transposed and photocopies required by your company or E-Verify are retained if applicable. Keep in mind that as the employer, you are responsible for having the I-9 correctly completed and submitted within three days of the employee’s start date. Failure to do so may result in penalties or fines.
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