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 May 14, 2020, ICE announced an extension to this flexibility, providing employers with an additional 30 days for in-person verification.
The 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.
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