ICE Announces Extension to I-9 Compliance Flexibility
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it has extended Form I-9 flexible procedures for employers operating remotely because of COVID-19 until May 31, 2021.
ICE added guidance on employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, who work exclusively in a remote setting because of COVID-19. These employees are exempted from physical inspection requirements until they undertake non-remote employment on a “regular, consistent, or predictable basis” or until the extension of I-9 flexibilities ends, whichever is earlier.
For employees onboarded between March 20, 2020 and March 31, 2021, employers can use the interim I-9 accommodations for employees working remotely due to COVID-19, but only if the workplace is operating entirely remotely, with no employees physically reporting to the work location. If there are any employees physically present at a work location, employers (or their agent) must continue to physically verify employees’ identity and employment eligibility documents for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Background: On March 19, 2020, due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19, DHS announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.