The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced last Friday, increased flexibility over the next 60 days on the physical presence requirement to complete Section 2 of the I-9 form. This section is the only part of new hire onboarding that has required an in-person component: verifying the original documents proving work authorization. In compliance with CDC recommendations for social distancing, DHS announced virtual procedures last Friday. However, employers are finding the requirements so cumbersome and confusing that many are choosing to rely on the remote hire features that were already in place with their electronic I-9 systems like Tracker I-9 Complete by Tracker Corp, an award-winning I-9 & E-Verify compliance company.
To keep up with this demand, Tracker Corp is announcing a new product on their I-9 Platform: Virtual I-9 Pro, a program that provides real-time video and/or phone help by I-9 professionals/experts at a low flat fee. This allows any new hire to compliantly complete the Section 2 requirement in minutes, with the help of a neighbor, friend, or any other “authorized representative” the employer can remotely designate for the new hire’s convenience.
Under the new rules, Identity and Employment Authorization documents can be inspected via video link, fax, or email. However, the verification must be redone after normal operations resume and there are specific notation requirements now and into the future — all of which may trigger more errors and fines. There is ambiguity about which employers qualify because DHS says “If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification.”
“Legal chatlines are debating whether employers with skeletal staff qualify. DHS says it will later evaluate on a ‘case by case’ basis, but we have no guidance on this yet,” notes Julie Pearl, Chair and Co-Founder of Tracker Corp (and CEO of one of the nation’s largest immigration firms, Pearl Law Group).
This is why it’s more appealing for employers to use proven technology with remote features. Anyone with a mobile device can get a secure link to fill in all the information required in Section 2. The information goes to the employer’s Tracker I-9 system (no PII is saved on the mobile device), and compliance is handled in just minutes.
Though the system has instant error-correction, many new hires and their employers want assurances that someone with I-9 experience is watching. If the employer doesn’t have that capability, Tracker’s I-9 Virtual Pro bridges this gap.
In the midst of COVID-19, many companies like Amazon, Walmart, and other grocery chains have announced massive hiring plans. These companies need to be able to efficiently onboard thousands of new employees, without the threat of failing I-9 compliance.
About Tracker Corp.
Tracker Corp is an award-winning I-9, E-Verify, and immigration compliance software company developed by immigration attorneys. Tracker solutions have a 20-year history of enabling legal accuracy and ensuring data security. https://www.trackercorp.com/