DHS Announces That Form I-9 Work Authorization Documentation Can Be Reviewed Remotely

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that employers who have implemented remote working policies in response to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s employment authorization documentation “in-person” when completing the Form I-9. Rather, employers can inspect the authorization documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax, or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing the I-9.

Employers who take advantage of this remote review policy should write “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the “Additional Information” field.  Once normal operations resume, employers must, within three business days, physically review the authorization documentation in-person for any I-9s completed remotely and should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the “Additional Information” field.

Employers are permitted to use this I-9 remote review process for 60 days (until May 19, 2020) or until the National Emergency is terminated (within three days thereafter), whichever comes first.

The announcement was posted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is available online at: https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/dhs-announces-flexibility-requirements-related-form-i-9-compliance

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