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DHS Temporarily Loosens Key I-9 Verification Requirements

This blog post was originally published on April 2, 2020. On May 14, DHS extended remote document inspection for another 30 days.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has temporarily eased key physical inspection requirements pertaining to the Form I-9, or Employee Eligibility Verification.

In short, employers with workers “taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19” will not be required to review an employee’s identity and employment eligibility authorization documents in that person’s physical presence. Instead, documents may be inspected remotely – for example, over email or video link – within three business days. Copies should be retained.

I-9 date check

These provisions are effective for 60 days, starting from March 20, or within three business days after the end of the national emergency declaration, whichever comes first. Once normal operations resume, all employees who were onboarded using remote document verification must report to their employers within three business days for in-person verification.

computer check list

After physically inspecting documents, employers must enter the following in the “Additional Information” field on Section 2 of the Form I-9:

  • “COVID-19” as the reason for delay
  • “documents physically examined”
  • the date of inspection

For additional information on these changes, please refer to the DHS notice.

Need to know how the FFCRA and CARES Act might affect your business? Visit our resource page.