Flexible Guidelines for Form I-9

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Please visit our COVID-19 resources page with more information for business owners and employees.

On March 20, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced flexible guidelines to the requirements related to Form I-9, due to COVID-19. 

Employers may obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the documents their employees provide to complete Section 2 of Form I-9. These temporary guidelines only apply to employers and workplaces operating remotely as a result of COVID-19. 

Since employers are not required to review an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in person, the documents can be inspected remotely through video, fax, email, etc. The documents must be inspected within three business days. 

Once operations are back to normal, all employees who were onboarded using remote verification must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification for Form I-9. Employers must enter “COVID-19” in the Section 2 Additional Information field as the reason for the physical inspection delay as well as “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection.

Employers operating remotely must follow these provisions for 60 days after March 20 or within three business days after the National Emergency has come to an end, whichever comes first.

We’re on alert for additional updates for when the temporary guidelines will end and normal operations will pick back up. Check out our COVID-19 resources to find more helpful information or register for an upcoming webinar. 

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