Important I-9 Updates For May 2023

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Temporary I-9 flexibilities program allowing remote I-9 inspection ends July 31, 2023.
United States Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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Temporary I-9 flexibilities program allowing remote I-9 inspection ends July 31, 2023.

  • As the Biden administration has decided to end the COVID-19 national and public health emergency effective May 11, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not intend to extend the I-9 flexibilities program beyond the current July 31, 2023 expiration date.
  • Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) flexibilities were first announced on March 20, 2020, due to safety precautions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The program, which underwent multiple extensions, permits employers to review I-9 documents remotely for certain new employees working remotely due to COVID-19. In such situations, employers are temporarily exempt from physical inspection requirements until they undertake in-person, non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the expiration of the flexibility provisions—whichever is earlier—after which, physical inspection would need to occur within three business days.

Employers utilizing I-9 flexibilities must complete in-person verification by August 30, 2023.

  • On May 4, 2023 DHS announced it will provide employers with a 30-day grace period following the program's expiration to comply with in-person identity and work authorization document verification.
  • Under this announcement, employers have until August 30, 2023, to perform all required inspection for employees hired on or after March 20, 2020 who have since only received virtual or remote I-9 verification.

DHS continues to review comments to the proposed virtual I-9 verification rule and plans to publish the final rule and revised Form I-9 later this year.

  • On August 18, 2022, DHS issued a proposed rule allowing the government agency to create alternative procedures for I-9 verification in response to changing work environments and advances in technology. Addressing the reality of telework and remote work arrangements that surged since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the proposed changes could revise regulations in a manner that may authorize employers in some circumstances to choose alternative options to physical document inspection.
  • The public comment period closed on October 17, 2022, and DHS is currently reviewing submitted comments.
  • DHS plans to publish a final rule later this year, along with a revised version of the Form I-9 and instructions consistent with the new rule.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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