Form I-9 and E-Verify: What’s Changed Due to COVID-19?
This past spring, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced temporary flexibility in complying with Form I-9 requirements. While the initial extension deadline was set for mid-June, DHS has again extended its policy due to continued precautions related to COVID-19.
The temporary change provides Form I-9 flexibility through July 19 (30 additional days from the previous date of June 18) and applies to employers operating remotely. Employers are asked to monitor DHS and ICE websites for additional updates regarding extensions, including when they end and when normal operations will start again.
As for E-Verify, timeframes to take action to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) are being extended.
The temporary Form I-9 accommodation applies only to employers and workplaces that operate remotely. Flexible accommodations include physical document review addressed within Section 2 of Form I-9. It is the responsibility of the employer to provide written documentation of remote onboarding as well as a telework policy for each employee. Employers are still required to create cases for new employees. Upon resumption of normal operations, employees who used remote verification are required to report in-person within three business days to verify identity and employment eligibility.
Specific instructions, including how to obtain, remotely inspect and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents that employers must follow to complete Section 2 are detailed on the USCIS website. Also, be sure to visit the official I-9 Central website for updates and guidance.
Action to resolve Social Security Administration TNCs are also being extended due to office closings to the general public. Similarly, DHS TNCs are also permitted extensions for certain circumstances when an employee is unable to resolve due to office closures. Specific guidance and new temporary policies apply and are outlined on the E-Verify What’s New website.
How Can You Stay Current?
Be sure to join Dave Basham, Form I-9 and E-Verify speaker with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, on Thursday, July 9, at 1:00 p.m. (ET) for the webinar, “Current Policy Changes to Form I-9 and E-Verify Due to COVID-19.” Dave will be available after the webinar to address questions.