Flexibility in I-9 Verifications during COVID-19 Shutdown

The Department of Homeland Security announced that it will defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9).? As employers and employees observe social distancing precautions, employers can now inspect Section 2 documents remotely via video link, fax or email, etc.? However, please note the following important steps:

 

  • Employers must view Section 2 documents, even if remotely, within 3 business days of the start of employment;
  • Documents submitted via email/fax/etc. must be retained;
  • Once physical examination is conducted:
    • Employers should enter “COVID-19” in the “Additional Information” box on Section 2;
    • Employers should add “Documents physical examined [INSERT DATE]” in the “Additional Information” field on Section 2.
    • The explanation for the delay should also be added on a memo attached to the employee’s I-9 file.
    • Once normal operations resume, employees must present the original documents used during remote verification within 3 business days.? Employers should add the date in which in-person verification took place in the “Additional Information” field on Section 2.

 

Employers may implement the above provisions for a period of 60 days from March 20, 2020 OR within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first.

 

The above rules only apply to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.? If employees are physically present at a work location, normal I-9 verification rules apply.

If you have any questions regarding I-9 compliance, please contact your Graham Adair representative.