April 16, 2024

Demystifying I-9 Verification and Notarial Acts: What Employers and Remote Workers Need to Know

In today’s digital age, remote work has become more prevalent than ever, and with it comes the need for streamlined and efficient processes, such as I-9 verification. However, confusion often arises when notarial acts and I-9 verification intersect. In this blog post, we will demystify I-9 verification and clarify the role of notaries in this process.

Understanding I-9 Verification:

The I-9 form is also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification form. In the United States, it is a crucial document for employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of new employees.

It is mandatory for both employers and employees to fill out an I-9 form. The process involves the employee filling out Section 1 of the form, which includes providing personal information, attesting to their employment authorization status, and signing the form.

The Role of Notaries in I-9 Verification:

While notaries are commonly asked to assist in I-9 verification for remote workers, it’s essential to understand that I-9 verification itself is not a notarial act. A notary’s primary function in this context is to verify the identity of the employee. This process typically involves an in-person meeting between the notary and the employee, during which the notary verifies the employee’s identity and the authenticity of the identification documents presented.

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Here’s How the Process Works:

  1. As part of Section 1 of the I-9 form, the employee provides their personal information and attests to their employment authorization.
  2. The notary meets with the employee in-person to verify their identity using acceptable identification documents listed on the form.
  3. The notary then fills out Section 2 of the I-9 form, which includes recording the employee’s identification details and attesting to the verification process.

Important Points to Note:

  1. No Notarization Stamp: Contrary to popular belief, the notary does not need to stamp the I-9 form. Their role is to verify the identity, not notarize the document.
  1. Additional Documents: Employers may attach other documents alongside the I-9 form that require notarization. However, the notary must not notarize their own signature.
  1. Authorized Representative Agreements: If an additional document, provided by the employer, requires the notary’s signature as an authorized representative, the notary cannot notarize it.
  1. Remote Verification: The USCIS allows remote verification of I-9 forms using the “e-verify” system, but this requires the employee to have a Social Security Number (SSN). If this is not possible, in-person verification becomes necessary.
  1. Online Notary Platforms: Online notarization platforms like eNotary On Call provide a user-friendly way to notarize documents online. However, I-9 forms cannot be verified online using remote online notary platforms.

Conclusion:

I-9 verification is a vital step in ensuring that employers comply with employment eligibility requirements. Notaries play a key role in verifying the identity of remote workers during this process, although it’s important to note that the I-9 form itself is not subject to notarization. Understanding the distinction between I-9 verification and notarial acts is crucial for both employers and employees to navigate this process accurately and efficiently.

For more information about I-9 verification and its requirements, you can visit the official USCIS website: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.

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With the changing landscape of remote work, staying informed about these processes can save both employers and employees valuable time and effort.

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