On March 20, 2020 DHS announced that it would defer for a 60 day period the physical presence requirement to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in order to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for Employers and Workplaces that were working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As an alternative, Employers were permitted to inspect these documents “remotely” and obtain, inspect, and save the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents within 3 business days for the purposes of completing Form I-9. As we described on April 22, the March 20, 2020 DHS announcement provided detailed instructions on how the Form I-9 was to be completed based on the remote inspection of I-9 documents. This policy was extended on May 19, and again on June 19, for an additional 30- day period, respectively.
On July 18, 2020, DHS announced another 30 day extension of this policy through August 19, 2020.
It is important to emphasize that this policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are working entirely remotely. Once normal operations resume, all employees who were on-boarded using remote verification must report to their employer within 3 business days for “in-person” verification of their identity and employment eligibility documentation.
In this same March 20th announcement, ICE also stated that after July 19, no additional extension will be granted to employers who were served “Notices of Inspection (NOIs)" by ICE during the month of March 2020.
If you have any questions regarding I-9 compliance, please contact your Mintz immigration attorney.