Department of Homeland Security further extends I-9 verification flexibility as COVID-19 pandemic persists

October 10, 2023

The relaxed requirement for employers to conduct in-person employment eligibility verification through Form I-9 will continue for at least another month.    

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are again extending employment eligibility verification requirements due to ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, employers that are operating in a largely remote setting have until August 19 to complete in-person I-9 verification.

The date was extended ahead of the previous July 19 deadline.  

Employers still must obtain, inspect and retain Section 2 documents within three business days regardless of whether a remote work setting is in place. That can be done via video conferencing, fax or email.

DHS is instructing employers to list “COVID-19” under the additional information field in Section 2 as the reason the physical inspections are being delayed.

Employees who were hired using remote verification must report to their employer for in-person verification within three business days after normal on-site operations resume.

The words “documents physically examined” should be added to Section 2 along with the date of inspection after the documents have been verified in person.

Syndeo assists employers with the I-9 verification process.

In March, DHS announced it would exercise “prosecutorial discretion” on the need for I-9s to be verified in person due to the pandemic. That provision was first extended in May and extended a second time in June.

DHS says it will continue to monitor what is happening with the pandemic nationwide to determine whether further extension is necessary.

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