The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has relaxed the rules regarding Form I-9 verification compliance until April 30, 2022. Employers who are implementing precautions of social distancing due to the Covid-19 have been granted the flexibility to not verify a new employee’s identity and employment authorization documents (EAD) in the employee’s physical presence.
USCIS Extends Leniency in Responding To Notices
Here’s the complete list
This flexibility will rescind after 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency.
This flexibility is applicable only to employees who are working remotely. The employee should get his ID and EAD documents verified in person as soon as the employer resumes in-person operations at the physical work location. They have three (3) days to comply with this mandatory procedure of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
This exception is not available to any new employee who is physically present at a work location. He will have to follow normal I-9 verification protocols.
Responsibilities Of Employers Recruiting New Hires During Pandemic
- All employers must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee;
- Employers may designate an authorized representative to act on their behalf to complete the Form I-9 verification process, but the employer is liable for any violations;
- The employer or the Employer’s chosen representative maintaining social distancing may inspect all ID and EAD documents of new hires remotely via video, fax or email;
- They should notate “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field;
- Once the new hire is able to return to the physical work location, the employer should personally verify all the above documents and update Section 2 and/or Section 3 on the Form I-9; This should be then done within 3 business days.
- Once personally inspected, Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 should be updated;
Employers: Do you Know About the NEW Form I-9?
This I-9 verification flexibility by DHS is an extension of a previous notice that was released in March 2020. Keeping in mind the Covid-19 pandemic, DHS had decided to exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
In August 2020, a similar I-9 relaxation was announced for H4, dependent visa holders who had received their EADs.
Depending upon the national emergency situation due to the pandemic, this flexibility might be extended for 6-days beyond April 30, 2022. Stay tuned to Path2USA for latest USCIS deadlines on the Form I-9 verification