Flexibility Extended for Compliance with Form I-9 Physical Presence Requirement Due to COVID-19

June 19, 2020

The U.S. Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) has announced another extension of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance that was granted earlier this year. The extension went into effect on June 16, 2020.

On March 19, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the deferral of the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) for 60 days due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19. This deferral was set to expire on May 19 but was later extended to June 18, 2020.

As precautions continue due to COVID-19, the DHS has once again extended this policy an additional 30 days for employers operating 100 percent remotely due to the pandemic. The expiration date for these accommodations is now set for July 19, 2020. 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.

Employers who were served notices of inspection (NOIs) by ICE during the month of March 2020 and had not already responded were granted an automatic extension for 60 days from the effective date. ICE will grant an additional extension of 30 days to these employers. This will be the final extension relative to NOIs served by ICE during the month of March 2020.

Employers should monitor the DHS and ICE websites for additional updates about when the extensions end and normal operations resume. 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.

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