Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension
of its March 20, 2020 policy that allows employers who have implemented remote working policies in response to COVID-19 to review a new employee’s work authorization documentation remotely when completing the Form I-9. The policy was set to expire on May 19, but has now been extended for an additional 30 days.
Accordingly, employers with remote working policies can continue to inspect I-9 authorization documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax, or email, etc.) and then must obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing the I-9.
As a reminder, 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.