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DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility

Posted November 19, 2020Stephanie Wedel - Sr. AssociateArticles

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) again announced the extension of flexibility surrounding Form I-9 compliance rules that were established earlier this year due to COVID-19. ICE has extended this policy for through December 31, 2020.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating exclusively remotely. This provision does not apply where there is an in-office presence. Companies with employees working remotely due to the pandemic do not need to review the documents with the employee physically present, but instead must review the documents remotely within three days of the employees start date. Employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate.

ICE also explained that as of July 19th, no additional extensions will be given to employers who had been served Notices of Inspection (NOIs) by ICE during March 2020.

E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire.

Please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney or consultation@meltzerhellrung.com with any questions.