Is the New Form I-9 Virtual Process Right for Your Business?

The potential future of Form I-9 processing has arrived! But, before you embrace this new offering, take a look with our I-9 expert John Fay at some of its requirements and some pros & cons to help determine if it could benefit your business.

“No physical inspection required” must have been music to the ears of many who have been struggling to onboard remote employees in recent years. As many HR managers are painfully aware, the Form I-9 process has historically required employers or their designated representatives to meet in-person with newly hired employees to physically examine documentation needed for the I-9 process. This decades-old requirement harkened back to an age when telecommuting jobs were few and far between, and video teleconferencing was an imagined convenience of the future.

Well, lo and behold, the future has arrived, courtesy of a rule change from the Department of Homeland Security that enables qualifying employers to virtually examine I-9 documentation without ever meeting in-person with the newly hired employee. The so-called “alternative procedure” for examining documents went into effect in August of 2023 and has the potential to significantly alter the way we onboard newly hired employees in the US.

But, before you leap headfirst into using the new virtual option, it is important to look at what the process entails.   

Check out this quick overview to learn more about how the virtual Form I-9 process works, its requirements, and potential pros & cons so that you can better evaluate whether or not it makes sense for your organization.


To help employers meet these new requirements, I am excited to announce that Equifax is now offering a virtual component of its award-winning I-9 Anywhere® solution. This enhancement will make it easier for eligible employers to streamline their onboarding processes and enhance new hire experiences.

Learn more about this service at

The information provided is intended as general guidance and is not intended to convey any tax, benefits, or legal advice. For information pertaining to your company and its specific facts and needs, please consult your own tax advisor or legal counsel.  Equifax Workforce Solutions provides services that can help employers reduce their compliance risks. Details on our provision of these services and related support will be contained in your services agreement. Links to sources may be to third party sites. We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.

About the Author

John Fay

Job Title: Director of Product Strategy

John Fay is an attorney and technologist with a deep applied knowledge of business immigration, I-9, and E-Verify rules and procedures. During his 20-plus-year career, he has worked closely with corporations, educational institutions, and government agencies on a variety of U.S. immigration and I-9/E-Verify issues, often in connection with the use of software and case management technology. He is a frequent speaker on corporate immigration compliance, presenting at various employment and immigration conferences throughout the U.S. During the past decade, he has spoken in more than 300 live and virtual presentations on I-9 and E-Verify topics, often serving as the moderator. He is also a prolific writer on both  I-9 and E-Verify, authoring more than 500 articles for human resources professionals and related associations.