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Key Points

  • DHS will extend temporary Form I-9 flexible measures through October 31, 2022
  • The measures were implemented in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Employers may verify employment documents remotely while the measure is in effect
  • The measures apply only to employers working entirely remotely due to COVID-19
  • A physical document inspection must be performed within three days of resuming normal operations
  • The guidance applies to individuals hired on or after April 1, 2021

Overview

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will extend temporary Form I-9 flexible measures for employment verification through October 2022.

The temporary measures were introduced in March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The flexible measures were scheduled to expire on April 30, 2022, but they were extended until October 31, 2022. The DHS has not yet announced if the flexibilities will be extended beyond October 2022.

Although the measures have been extended, their provisions remain unchanged. Employers operating fully remotely due to COVID-19 can virtually verify employee documents for the purpose of Form I-9 employment eligibility verification. Employers using virtual methods for employment eligibility verification must follow specific guidelines when regular operations resume, including a physical inspection of employment verification documents that have initially been viewed remotely. The physical examination must be completed within three days of an employer resuming normal operations.

Looking Ahead

The guidance applies to employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, and working exclusively in a remote environment due to COVID-19.

Written by: Lucy Halse, Content Marketing Associate, Envoy Global
Edited by: Frank Fogelbach, Supervising Attorney, Corporate Immigration Partners
Source: US Department of Homeland Security

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