Irving Firm Solves a Remote Worker Conundrum: Verifying ID Documents

HR departments got a break early in the pandemic, when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement relaxed rules on in-person ID verification for remote workers. But that's slated to end on April 30. With remote workers spread out across the U.S., a big HR headache is looming. Now Irving-based OnBlick is stepping up with a solution.

Companies across the U.S. rely on remote workers more than ever. The pandemic has made firms rethink how they office, and online solutions have made remote work increasingly seamless. The process has gotten easier for almost everyone—but it’s about to get tricky for HR teams everywhere. Now OnBlick, an Irving-based immigration and HR compliance firm, is offering a solution.

The challenge: verifying ID for remote workers

A key compliance role for HR departments is filing Form I-9—a document used by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to verify a worker’s ID and employment eligibility.

Federal law requires that every employer who recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the U.S. must complete Form I-9, whether the worker is a citizen or not.

But here’s the catch: the employer has to inspect the worker’s ID in person. That’s not always easy when the worker is remote—and possibly hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

Krishna Garimella, CEO of Irving-based OnBlick. [Photo: OnBlick]

ICE extends flexibility through April 30

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has temporarily eased that Form I-9 requirement during the pandemic. In March 2020, it began permitting remote I-9 verification for newly hired employees, as long as the forms were to be physically inspected on the employee’s return to on-site work. Since then, employers have been allowed to temporarily inspect documents remotely via video calls, email, or fax.

On December 15, ICE extended that flexibility through April 30, 2022. When it finally ends, companies living out the “new normal” of distant remote workers have a challenge. How do they inspect ID in person? Must they fly in workers across the state or even across the U.S. just to glance at their ID?

“This is stressful for the employers,” Irving-based OnBlick said in a statement. “They have to keep track of the remote hires that leveraged the COVID-19 flexibility and start the physical verification process again once the flexibility ends.”

‘Revolutionizing’ verification with an authorized representative network

OnBlick offers a SaaS product that streamlines HR and immigration compliance through its HR BPA solutions and I-9 audit services. 

The company says it’s “revolutionizing” the Form I-9 remote verification process with its Authorized Representative Network.

5,000 reps in nearly 500 cities

OnBlick has a network of around 5,000 authorized representatives located in nearly 500 cities and towns across the U.S., according to the company. Using the service, employees can choose the nearest representative to physically verify their ID documents and complete Section-2 of Form I-9 on behalf of the employer.

The representatives are able to conduct the verification through OnBlick’s SaaS portal, with the entire process taking place electronically. Following USCIS guidelines for Electronic Form I-9, OnBlick ensures I-9 compliance for enterprises that use the product and its services.

“At OnBlick, our goal is to bring technology solutions that can simplify the compliance issues faced by companies on a regular basis,” said Krishna Garimella, CEO of OnBlick, in the statement. “We believe that our Authorized Representative Network will make the I-9 process compliant, providing a great onboarding experience.”

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