The Resource Blog: COVID-19 Updates

DHS Temporarily Modifies Requirements for In-Person Review of I-9 Documents

Monday, March 23, 2020   (0 Comments)
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By Jennifer Suberlak, Esq., San Diego SHRM VP of Legislation


DHS Temporarily Modifies Requirements for In-Person Review of I-9 Documents

The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced a temporary relaxation of the rules for reviewing I-9 documents in person with new employees.  Under normal circumstances, a representative of the employer must review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.  Per the DHS announcement, employers operating remotely due to COVID-19 precautions may now inspect these documents by remote means (e.g., by videoconference, fax, or email) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents (as opposed to originals) within three business days.  This change is in effect for 60 days (until May 19, 2020) or three business days after the termination of the national emergency, whichever is sooner. 

Notably, this modification applies only to employers operating remotely in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Where a new employee is physically present at the worksite, the employer may not avail itself of this alternative process; the pertinent documents must still be reviewed in the employee’s physical presence.  The employer is responsible for providing written documentation of its remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee.

Once normal operations resume, all employees onboarded using remote verification must report to the employer within three business days to complete an in-person inspection of their original identity and employment authorization documents. 

Additionally, any employers served with notices of inspection by DHS during March 2020 and have not already responded will be granted an automatic 60-day extension from the effective date to provide a response.  Further extensions may be granted after the expiration of 60 days, within DHS’ discretion. 

For further information, please click this link:

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