Last week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that COVID-19 flexibilities regarding Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) will sunset on July 31, 2023, after which employers will have 30 days (i.e., until August 30, 2023) to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements. In other words, employers are now required to perform all required physical examinations of identity and employment eligibility documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who have only received a virtual or remote examination under the flexibilities.
DHS initially announced the COVID-19 flexibilities in March 2020, explaining that the requirement to inspect employees’ Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation in-person would apply only to those employees who physically report to work at a company location on any regular, consistent, or predictable basis. DHS periodically extended the flexibilities several times throughout the pandemic.
Certain flexibilities may continue in a more permanent manner, however, as DHS, recognizing that more employers may have adopted telework and remote work arrangements because of the pandemic, has issued a proposed rule that would allow alternative procedures for the examination of identity and employment eligibility documents.
For more information related to Form I-9 requirements and COVID-19, click here.