Updates Regarding Form I-9

Thursday, July 27th, 2020

The I-9 form is often misunderstood, but right now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is actually making it *easier* for employers to use! Imagine that! 

Due to the ongoing pandemic, DHS has provided flexibility for employers to review Form I-9, via video, email or fax, etc. This only applies to employees working completely remotely. The compliance was originally issued back in March of 2020 and has now been extended to August 19th. Under this special procedure, employers must review the form as carefully as they would in person,and follow the same process aside from seeing the ID via video, email, or other non-physical means. 

When completing the I-9, Section 1 must be completed by the employee on or before the start date. Section 2 of the form would be inspected remotely, and the required documents must be received within three business days of the hire date.  COVID-19 should be marked as the reason for physical inspection delay under Section 2 of the form. 

Employers are responsible for providing written documentation for each employee that remote examination occurred. Once operations resume to normal and employees return to the workplace, employees must report for in-person verification of identity and employment documenting eligibility within 3 business days. It should be noted on top of the form “physical inspection examined” and dated.

You may want to add a reminder to your Back-to-Office plan to revisit these I9 forms and remind employees to bring their ID’s in for you to review. 

In addition, effective June 17, 2020, the DHS has increased penalty fines for violations of form 1-9 completion. 

For the most current Form I-9 Form and guidance in completing the form, visit Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification.

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