In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a new temporary flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.   This temporary policy was originally scheduled to last for 60 days, however, due to ongoing pandemic conditions, USCIS extended the policy several times, most recently until December 31, 2020.  Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19,  on December 23, 2020 DHS extended this policy an additional 30 days until January 31, 2021.

This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. See the original news release for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9.

E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see COVID-19 webpage for more information.

DHS advises that it will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance as needed.

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Alka Bahal is a Partner and the Co-Chair of the Immigration Practice of Fox Rothschild LLP, specializing in corporate immigration law and compliance.  Alka is situated in Fox Rothschild’s Morristown, New Jersey office though she practices throughout the United States and at Consulates worldwide.  You can reach Alka at (973) 994-7800, or abahal@foxrothschild.com.