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ICE Announces Extension of Form I-9 Rule Flexibility

Posted May 15, 2020Kristen Kellar - Sr. Paralegal - Team LeadArticles

On May 14, 2020, Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") announced it would extend Form I-9 rules flexibility. ICE previously announced that it was allowing the physical presence requirements associated with the Form I-9 to be deferred until May 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy has now been extended for another 30 days.

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.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

The flexibility in rules also relates to notices of inspection ("NOIs") served by ICE. Employer's served with NOIs in March were automatically given a 60 day extension. These employers will now have an additional 30 days to respond.

If you have any questions about these extensions, please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney.