On November 18, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced they would again extend flexibility relating to in-person Form I-9 compliance through December 31. The policy was previously set to expire on November 19. The extension will continue to allow remote review of identity and employment authorization documents of employees who telework during the national emergency.
It is important to note that the policy exemption applies only to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely; if any employees are physically present at a work location, no exceptions will be allowed. If an employer is not eligible for the exemption, it may continue to designate authorized representatives to act on its behalf to conduct in-person document reviews.
Next Steps for Employers
Employers must obtain, inspect and retain copies of the documents within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2. Eligible employers may inspect the employee’s I-9 documents remotely, using video link, fax or email, etc. In addition, employers who avail themselves of this option must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy to each employee. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.
Once normal operations resume, all employees who were onboarded using remote verification must report complete in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9 within three business days of their return to the workplace.
E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire.