U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on July 18th that it will provide a 30-day extension to its temporary policy allowing flexibility in the rules related to Form I-9 for employers operating 100% remotely in light of COVID-19. The new expiration date for these accommodations is August 19, 2020.
On March 19 due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This provision was implemented for 60 days and was set to expire on May 19. On May 19, DHS extended this policy for an additional 30 days, until June 18. On June 19, DHS extended this policy for an additional 30 days, until July 19.
ICE also announced that after July 19, no additional extensions will be issued to employers who were served notices of inspection (NOIs) by ICE during the month of March 2020. Previously, employers who were served notices of inspection (NOIs) by ICE during the month of March 2020 and had not already responded were granted an automatic extension for 60 days from the effective date, followed by an additional extension of 30 days. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.
E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire.
DHS will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance as needed.