DHS/ICE announced that after the COVID-19 pandemic Form I-9 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023, employers who conducted remote verifications during the pandemic will have until August 30, 2023 to perform all required physical examination of identity and employment eligibility documents for individuals (1) hired on or after March 20, 2020, and (2) whose identity and work eligibility documents were only examined virtually or remotely.

To prepare for this deadline, employers that relied on the COVID-19 Form I-9 flexibilities should begin physical inspections as soon as practicable, identify all I-9 forms that require updates, and decide whether to perform the physical inspections at the worksite or use an offsite third-party authorized representative.

Employees and authorized representatives performing verifications should be trained on how to inspect the documents and update properly the I-9 forms, including the rules for acceptable documents and employment authorization extensions.

  • If the person who performed the remote inspection also performs the physical inspection, he or she should indicate the date of examination then add his or her initials in the Additional Information field. Example: “COVID-19; Documents physically examined on [date] by [name].”
  • If the employer representative who examined an employee’s documents virtually is no longer employed or otherwise unavailable, the new employer representative should complete a new Page 2, Section 2 of Form I-9, and attach it to the employee’s I-9.
  •  If a document has expired since the original remote I-9 process, the expired document remains acceptable for in-person review. However, employers must distinguish expired List A or List C documents that do not require employment eligibility reverification from those that do.
  • DHS indicated that if the employee no longer possesses the documents that were presented for remote review, if it is not feasible to insert all the new information in the “additional information” box, then it is acceptable to complete a new Section 2, with signature, and attach the new Section 2 to the original with a brief explanation in the “additional information” box.
  • If the employee is still working remotely and not near an employer’s physical location, employers may rely on the services of an authorized representative for completing Section 2. Once Section 2 is completed by an authorized representative, the employer should review the form to ensure that it is error-free, as the employer is liable for any paperwork deficiencies in the Form I-9 completed by the authorized representative.

On August 18, 2022, DHS issued a proposed rule that would allow alternative procedures for the examination of identity and employment eligibility documents. DHS plan to publish a final rule later this year to clarify alternative options for in-person inspection of identity and employment authorization documents.

Have questions about complying with I-9 verification? Don’t worry – we are here to help!

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