On November 18th, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) extended its flexibilities in rules for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
The temporary guidance, issued earlier this year, was set to expire on November 19th, but it is now extended until December 31st, 2020.
Employers operating remotely due to COVID-19 are not required to review an employee’s employment eligibility documents in the employee’s physical presence. Employers must review the Section 2 documents remotely, through email, fax, etc., and retain physical copies within three business days. Employers should write “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in Section 2 Additional Information. Employers must provide written documentation of remote onboarding and a copy of their telework policy. Once normal operations resume, employees on boarded remotely must report to their employers within three business days. Employers should physically inspect the employment eligibility documents and write “documents physically examined” with the date in Section 2 Additional Information.
You can read more about the guidelines, and how employers should navigate remote work and completing Form I-9 here.
This guidance only applies to employers and workplaces operating remotely. If employees are physically present at a work site, there are no exceptions for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.