Department of Homeland Security Relaxes I-9 Review Requirements

For employers and workplaces operating remotely as a result of precautions taken during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowing for flexibility in compliance with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. Employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email) and obtain, inspect and retain copies of the documents within three business days. Once normal operations resume, all employees onboarded using remote verification must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility. These provisions may be implemented by employers for a period of 60 days from the date of the DHS notice (March 20, 2020) or within three business days after the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first.

For more information on employers’ documentation responsibilities, see the DHS bulletin.