U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has extended certain flexible Form I-9 procedures for employers operating remotely because of the COVID-19 national emergency.

Key Points:

  • The temporary measures have been extended until Dec. 31.
  • The guidance allows employers who are operating 100% remotely to conduct verification of employee documents virtually, e.g., using fax, email or video link, for the purpose of Form I-9 employment eligibility verification procedures. Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents
  • Employers that follow the virtual procedures must comply with guidelines when “normal operations resume,” including conducting physical inspection of documents that were viewed remotely within three business days.
  • Under the original guidance, employers that were served notices of inspection (NOIs) in March but had not yet responded were granted an automatic extension of 60 days. After July 19, no additional extensions are being granted to employers served NOIs in March.

Background: ICE introduced the temporary measures on March 20 and has extended them a number of times since then. The measures had been set to expire this week, but have now been extended through the end of the year. BAL will update clients if an additional extension is announced.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact berryapplemanleiden@bal.com.

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