How does a remote worker in the US complete Form I-9 given the employer's corporate offices are in another city and/or country?

I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification and supporting documentation is available online, but it does not discuss the situation. The only hit I have found regarding remote workers on the USCIS website is a post from 2012 that suggests the USCIS provide the information in their FAQ:

Suggestion: In your FAQ's could you comment on what a person should do when their employer is in one state and you reside in another aka as working remotely. Is there a list of people who could verify this document for the remote worker? If yes, who is deemed acceptable? Public Notary, Bank, Police Authorities?

Can I go to the post office or other government agency to do this?

There is reading on the subject like at How to Comply with I-9 Requirements for Remote Workers, but I am having trouble parsing what "trusted agent or representative" means. I also cannot find a definition on the USCIS website.

From the article, what does a "trusted agent or representative" mean?

If it matters, I am about 30 minutes from Washington DC. I can travel to the USCIS offices if needed. I am happy to push this mess back on the USCIS since they are not providing the necessary information.

The USCIS phone system at 1-800-375-5283 does not provide a category for the problem. The phone system also does not recognize a 0 to speak to someone in person. It just puts me in an endless loop of useless options.

The USCIS website's Emma Assistant is equally useless:

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It is like the USCIS is refusing public contact to avoid answer questions.

  • Ask your manager/HR. They're the ones that have to certify to the government you are legally authorized to work. – pboss3010 Aug 22 '19 at 12:06
  • @pboss3010 - The owner of the company is in the same position. He can't find the information, either. – user25792 Aug 22 '19 at 12:22
  • FWIW Get a Human at USCIS. Never tried this so I don't know if it actually works – Peter M Aug 22 '19 at 12:33

Google gives many results for "Completing I-9 for Remote Employees:"

Of course, google isn't the authority on this matter, but the good news is, these resources all agree, which makes for a fairly clear recommendation:

  • You do need an "agent" of the employer to verify the documents in person,
  • That agent can essentially be anyone your employer trusts (with exceptions in California which probably don't apply, given your location near DC.)
  • They all recommend having an official company policy explaining how you chose your agent. They recommend that you may use a notary public as the agent (although I-9 clearly doesn't need to be notarized, so choosing a notary is just done as a convenient rule, not because notarization is involved).

Companies for whom I have worked remotely, and acted as a remote hiring manager, followed these practices. In some cases when doing government contracting (i.e. DoD) we "borrowed" local HR from the appropriate government entity to do the verification. In other cases we found a notary near the employee and used them.


Whenever I need to complete an I-9, I use a notary at my local bank. Quick and free, and I've never had a problem with pushback from the government.

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