The temporary COVID-19 accommodations for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) created in March 2020 expire on July 31, 2023. As a result, employers who have been remotely inspecting the identity and employment authorization documents of employees who work remotely have up to 30 days to inspect these documents after the accommodation period ends physically.
Employers have until August 30, 2023, to physically inspect the original I-9 documents that were inspected remotely under the temporary policy. Exceptions include if a physical inspection was triggered earlier under the temporary accommodations.
Find out what you need to know about the changes to I-9 verification.
Information About the Temporary I-9 Verification Policy
Due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing requirements, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) let ICE provide temporary accommodations to remotely verify the identity and employment authorization documents of employees who were working remotely:
- I-9 documents could be remotely verified through video, video link, fax, or email until the employee stopped working remotely or until July 31, 2023, whichever came sooner.
- These accommodations end on July 31, 2023.
- I-9 documents that were inspected remotely under the temporary policy must be inspected in person by August 30, 2023.
Alternative Procedures to Verify I-9 Documents in Person
DHS plans to develop a regulation that allows alternative procedures to verify I-9 documents:
- An employer with employees working remotely can have an authorized representative complete the in-person verification of the identity and employment documents.
- This verification must be consistently done in a non-discriminatory manner.
- DHS will establish a regulation regarding these alternative procedures for I-9 verification.
- A proposed regulation was published in August 2022.
- The public comment period for the regulation closed on October 17, 2022.
- DHS is reviewing the feedback and will publish a final regulation later in 2023.
Do the I-9 Verification Requirements Impact Your Accounting and Finance Team?
The temporary COVID-19 accommodations for Form I-9 that ICE issued in March 2020 expire on July 31, 2023. Employers who have been performing remote I-9 inspections have until August 30, 2023, to physically inspect the identity and employment authorization documents of employees who were hired to work remotely. DHS will provide a regulation in 2023 that lets employers have an authorized representative complete the in-person verification process for employees who continue to work remotely.
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