May 16, 2023
DHS Ends Pandemic-Era Flexibility in Form I-9 Requirements

DHS Ends Pandemic-Era Flexibility in Form I-9 Requirements

Presented by

Joseph E. Pelochino

Jonathan Judge

Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

At the outset of the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allowed flexibility in the requirements for Form I-9 compliance for employees working remotely due to COVID-19.  The DHS announced that it would defer the physical presence or physical inspection requirements associated with the verification of acceptable documents. We previously reported on the standard here.  

These flexibilities were extended multiple times during the pandemic, but will end on July 31, 2023.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced that employers who utilized the temporary flexibilities to inspect documents remotely during the pandemic must now complete in-person physical document inspections for those employees by August 30, 2023.  This will give employers some additional time to complete the required in-person physical inspection of identity and employment authorization documents, and annotate the Form I-9 for those employees.

Once the physical inspection takes place, employers will need to update the employee’s Form I-9 in Section 2 in the field entitled, “Additional Information.”  Employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay, and should add “documents physically examined on [date].”

Please contact the AALRR authors or your employment counsel for questions relating to these procedures or to employment eligibility verification in general.

Reprinted with permission from AALRR.