The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced the flexibility in certain Form I-9 verification procedures have been extended until September 19, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is applicable only for employers working remotely. This temporary extension had been set to expire on August 18 but has been extended due to the ongoing precautionary measures. Temporary measures for flexibility in E-verification were originally announced by ICE in March, and have been extended in 30-day increments.
The guidance, which pertains to Section 2 of Form I-9 employment eligibility verification, allows employers that are working 100% remotely to verify documents virtually, e.g., using fax or email. See my previous blog, “Form I-9 Announcements: COVID-19 Temporary Policy for Identification Documents,” for more information.
ICE has also provided verification guidelines to employers in the event they have resumed to normal operations. Within three business days of the resumption of normal operations, employees whose documents were previously virtually verified must present themselves for in-person verification of identification and eligibility documents.
Under the previous guidelines provided by ICE, employers who received a Notice of Inspection in March, but who had not responded, were granted an additional 60-day extension. After the July 19, extension, employers have not been granted any additional extensions.
To learn more about this blog post or if you have any other immigration concerns, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (484) 544-0022. For more topics related to COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection.