Form I-9 Compliance: Flexible procedures related to Covid-19

Form I-9 Compliance: Flexible procedures related to Covid-19

November 19, 2020

Briefing

  • In March, DHS announced that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  Employers practicing social distancing will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.

I-9 Inspections Procedures for Employees/Offices Operating Remotely 

  • Employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.
  • Once normal operations resume, all employees who were onboarded using remote verification, must report to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9.  Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate.
  • Employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 Additional Information field once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume.
  • Employers who avail themselves of this option must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee. This burden rests solely with the employers.  We would also recommend adding the DHS notice to your company records.

Timeframe for Flexible I-9 Procedures

These provisions may be implemented by employers through December 31, 2020 (unless otherwise extended) OR within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first.

Future Audits

  • Any audit of subsequent Forms I-9 would use the “in-person completed date” as a starting point for these employees only.

EXCEPTION

  • Employees physically present at a work location must present must complete  in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. However, if newly hired employees or existing employees are subject to COVID-19 quarantine or lockdown protocols, DHS will evaluate this on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, employers may designate an authorized representative to act on their behalf.

For more information, contact your WR attorney.

 

By | 2020-11-19T11:08:06-08:00 November 19th, 2020|Other|Comments Off on Form I-9 Compliance: Flexible procedures related to Covid-19

WR is a world leader in global mobility using WRapid, the firm’s immigration management system Powered by Salesforce, to facilitate the movement of talent worldwide.

About the Author: