Feds Grant 30-Day Extension for Remote I-9 Document Review

In an earlier blog entry, we noted that the in-person requirement for the Form I-9 is temporarily suspended if your company is closed or taking other precautions due to COVID-19.

UPDATE: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced remote I-9 document review has been extended for another 30 days; the original exemption was set to expire May 19, 2020.

The general rule is that an employer must undertake a physical inspection of the document(s) presented by the employee for section 2 purposes. However, in light of COVID-19, the government is suspending the in-person and physical inspection of the document(s) presented by the employee when completing the Form I-9. During this time, an employer can view the document(s) presented by the employee via Zoom or Skype, for example.

Once normal operations resume,​ employers must inspect documents in person and note “COVID-19” as the reason for the delay in the section’s “additional information” field, as well as “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to that field or Section 3 as appropriate, per ICE guidelines.

Please also keep in mind that this exception is only available to employers/workplaces currently operating remotely. If there are employees physically present at a work location, no I-9 exceptions are currently implemented.

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