ICE Further Extends I-9 Compliance Flexibility Due to COVID-19
July 20, 2020 | United States of America
In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has further extended flexibilities for Form I-9 compliance through August 19, 2020.
ICE initially introduced flexible requirements for Form I-9 compliance on March 19, 2020. The flexibilities permit employers and workplaces that are operating remotely to obtain, inspect, and retain copies of employment eligibility and identity documents for Section 2 of Form I-9 remotely rather than reviewing the documents in the employee’s physical presence due to COVID-19. Employers must inspect documentation by fax, email, video link, or other suitable electronic means. Employers must complete a document inspection within three days of an employee’s hire and note “COVID-19” as the reason for a delay in physical document inspection. After performing a physical inspection of the documents, the employer should note “documents physically inspected” with the corresponding inspection date on Section 2 or Section 3 of the Form I-9.
Although some flexibilities have been extended, ICE has announced that no additional extensions will be provided to employers who received notices of inspection (NOIs) when the flexibilities were first announced in March.
The Form I-9 flexibilities were implemented on March 19, 2020. They have been extended in 30-day increments since then through June 19th, July 19th, and now August 19th. Employers should monitor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE websites for updates on the extensions and when normal operations will resume.