The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has extended the flexibilities in its Form I-9 compliance requirements as a result of the continuing COVID-19 crisis. Previously, ICE had announced an interim policy under which employers who are operating remotely could defer the physical inspection of identity and employment authorization documents when completing Form I-9. This policy was set to expire on May 19, 2020, and has now been extended an additional 30 days, until June 18, 2020.

Specifically, the interim I-9 policy allows employers who are operating remotely to initially review an employee's identity and employment authorization documents remotely (for example, over video link, fax, or e-mail), rather than in person as the I-9 rules require. Upon the expiration of this policy ends, employees who were onboarded using remote verification must report in person to their employer within three business days for in-person verification of their identity and employment authorization documents. This provision applies only to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance as needed. Employers are required to monitor the DHS and ICE websites for additional updates regarding when the extensions will be terminated, and normal operations will resume.

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