Form I-9 temporary policy changes to accommodate COVID-19 social-distancing requirements
As of May 1, 2020, employers must be using the new Form I-9 (revision date 10/21/2019).
Due to social-distancing requirements related to COVID-19, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on March 19, 2020, a temporary policy change that allows flexibility in the requirements for document verification. This only applies to employers who are operating remotely due to the COVID-19 national emergency. On June 16, 2020, ICE announced an additional extension to this flexibility, providing employers with an additional 30 days for in-person verification. The expiration date for this extension is July 19, 2020.
The original DHS announcement outlined this flexibility for employers:
INSPECT DOCUMENTS REMOTELY Inspect the Section 2 identity and employment authorization documents remotely (e.g., over a video link, fax, or email, etc.)
OBTAIN COPIES OF DOCUMENTS WITHIN THREE DAYS Obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.
DOCUMENT COVID-19 ON FORM Enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in Section 2 “Additional Information” field once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume.
INSPECT DOCUMENTS IN PERSON WITHIN 3 DAYS OF RESUMING NORMAL OPERATIONS Once normal operations resume, the national emergency is lifted, or June 18 (60 days from the DHS announcement + 30-day extension)–whichever comes first–verify documents in person and note the date on the form within three business days.