Form I-9 COVID-19 Flexibilities Set to End July 31, 2023

May 15, 2023

The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, has announced that COVID-19 temporary flexibilities for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, will end on July 31, 2023.

As stated in a U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services news release, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has recently announced that employers must complete by August 30, 2023 in-person physical document inspections for employees whose documents were inspected remotely under temporary flexibilities that were implemented during the pandemic.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has updated its "Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19" webpage, and has shared instructions on how to notate the Form I-9 when inspecting documents in person that were originally inspected virtually.

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which would allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to authorize alternative options for document examination procedures, including remote document examination. The conditions for which the Secretary of Homeland Security could authorize such alternative methods, as stated in the summary of the proposed rule on, include "as part of a pilot program, or upon the Secretary's determination that such procedures offer an equivalent level of security, or as a temporary measure to address a public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services pursuant to Section 319 of the Public Health Service Act, or a national emergency declared by the President pursuant to Sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act."

The Department of Homeland Security has stated that it anticipates publishing a final rule in the Federal Register that will implement this proposal; however, a timeline has not been presented.

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