Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that it is extending flexible measures regarding Form I-9 employment eligibility verification that were scheduled to expire June 19.

Key points:

  • The temporary measures have been extended another 30 days and are now scheduled to expire July 19.
  • The guidelines allow certain employers to conduct remote verification of employee documents, e.g., using fax, email or video link, for the purpose of Form I-9 employment eligibility verification procedures. Only employers that are operating 100% remotely remain eligible for the temporary remote verification procedures.
  • Employers that follow the remote verification procedures must comply with strict guidelines when normal operations resume, including physical inspection of the documents that were viewed remotely within three business days.
  • As part of the initial guidance, ICE granted an automatic extension for 60 days to employers who were served notices of inspection (NOIs) during the month of March 2020 but had not yet responded. Today’s announcement states that ICE will grant an additional extension of 30 days to these employers, but this will be the final extension for NOIs served in March.

Background: ICE issued the original guidance March 20 for 60 days, and extended it for an additional 30 days before the current extension. The original guidance, including eligibility requirements, how to fill out Form I-9 if conducting remote verification of documents, and protocols once normal operations resume, may be viewed here.

BAL Analysis: Employers that are operating 100% remotely because of COVID-19 may continue to benefit from the temporary measures until July 19. As offices begin to reopen, employers who are using the temporary measures should make sure they remain eligible to do so. Employers who have conducted remote verification under the temporary policy should ensure that their Form I-9 procedures are compliant with all requirements in the guidance when normal operations resume, including following up with in-person verification of the documents within three business days.

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