Reminder: Form I-9 Compliance Flexibilities Extended to July 31, 2023

The flexibility policy regarding Form I-9 completion remains extended until the end of July in an abundance of precaution regarding COVID-19.

Business Information Group wants to remind our clients that COVID-19 Form I-9 compliance flexibilities are not set to expire until July 31, 2023.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the DHS has allowed employers to conduct the visual inspection of an employee's identity and work authorization documents through remote means, i.e. over a weblink, via email, or via fax. The employer must still physically inspect the documents in-person either when the employee returns to the office or the termination of the temporary flexibilities. This temporary guidance was set to expire on October 31, 2022, but has been extended once more in an abundance of caution as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. It will remain in effect until this interim exception expires or until three days after the COVID-19 emergency is over, whichever comes first.

This flexibility applies to "employers and workplaces that are operating remotely" who were hired on or after April 1, 2021. According to our conversations with representatives at the USCIS, the language is not intended to exclude all employers with an in-office presence - there are exceptions based on the employers' policies. Essentially the exception is adoptable by an employer if they can reasonably justify why employees in their office are unable to complete the document inspection portion of Form I-9.

The USCIS's recommendation is to document the company's remote onboarding and telework policy, including the in-office availability of Form I-9 authorized representatives, when utilizing the temporary flexibility related to Form I-9 compliance.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your sales executive, account manager, or our customer service team.

SOURCE: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Updated: January 31, 2023