U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that employers will have 30 days to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements after the COVID-19 flexibilities sunset on July 31, 2023.
Effective since March 20, 2020 for businesses who were taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19, ICE has deferred the requirement for employers to inspect documentation in the presence of the employee that proves their identity and work authorization. ICE’s announcement that it is ending these flexibilities clarifies for employers that they have until August 30, 2023 to perform all required physical examination of identity and employment eligibility documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who have only received a virtual or remote examination under the flexibilities. Click here to read the announcement.
Employers who have only done a remote examination of an employee’s documentation were instructed to write “COVID-19” in the Section 2 “Additional Information” field of the Form I-9. To be compliant by August 30, 2023, these employers must inspect the documentation in the presence of such employees and write “documents physically examined” with the date of examination to Section 2’s Additional Information field on the Form I-9, or in Section 3, as appropriate.
DHS is currently taking steps to issue a rule that would allow employers to use alternative procedures for the examination of identity and employment eligibility documents. DHS states it has plans to issue a final rule later in 2023.