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DHS Announces Form I-9 Flexibility During COVID-19

In response to the continuing change brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Human Services (DHS) has decided to defer physical presence requirements that are usually necessary for the completion of Form I-9.

What does this mean?

Employers with employees working remotely due to COVID-19 will be able to review the identity and employment authorization documents without being in the physical presence of the said employee. However, employers are still required to inspect section 2 documents, even if this must be done remotely via video, email or fax. They must also obtain copies of these documents within three business days in order to complete Section 2.

How should Section 2 be completed?

Under section 2 employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay.

Who does this apply to?

This flexibility only applies to employers with staff working remotely, if there are employees physically present at any location this accommodation does not apply.

What happens after this crisis has ended?

After this crisis passes, employers must complete a physical review of Section 2 documents within three business days. The employer should then add “documents physically examined” and the date to Section 2.

Can authorized representatives still be used?

Employers may still select an authorized representative to act on their behalf. Any person who the employer appoints may be an authorized representative, but the employer is still legally liable for any violations in the verification process.

For more information, you can visit https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/dhs-announces-flexibility-requirements-related-form-i-9-compliance or the COVID-19 information page on the DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement website at https://www.ice.gov/.