The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the COVID-19 temporary flexibilities for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, will end on July 31, 2023. U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently said that employers must complete in-person physical document inspections for employees whose documents were inspected remotely during the temporary flexibilities by August 30, 2023.
This latest notice provides employers with an extended timeframe to perform in-person, physical verification of identity and employment authorization documents and record the pertinent details on Form I-9 for this population. These flexibilities were initially announced in March 2020 and subsequently revised in March 2021. For more information, please refer to I-9 Central Questions and Answers.
DHS published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) for alternative procedures allowing remote document examination for Form I-9 last year. In this proposal, the agency suggests the possibility of using alternative procedures for the required documents in the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The proposed rule would establish a framework whereby the Secretary of Homeland Security would be authorized to permit alternative document examination procedures for some or all employers.
These procedures could be enacted as part of a pilot program or when the Secretary determines they provide an equivalent level of security. The procedures could also be implemented temporarily 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 in accordance with Sections 201 and 301 of the National Emergencies Act. This proposed rule would provide employers (or their agents) with optional alternatives for verifying the identity and employment authorization documents presented by individuals when completing Form I-9. DHS anticipates publishing a Final Rule in the Federal Register to implement this proposal.
Note: There have been discussions to allow a remote verification process in the future limited to companies enrolled in E-Verify and participating in a training program for fraudulent document detection and/or anti-discrimination training.
The first step is to compile a List of Forms I-9 completed using remote verification for active employees and prepare a memo to attach to Forms I-9 completed for inactive employees using remote verification, which cannot be updated by in-person verification. In other words, the memo would serve as a notice that the verification of these Forms I-9 was done remotely, and no in-person verification has been carried out since then, particularly for inactive employees.
You should advise those on the list to review the instructions to Form I-9 and the acceptable documents listed on the Form I-9 and to establish a date as soon as possible with the designated company contact to present their chosen original documents for identity and employment verification purposes.
A process that permits the employer's designated representative to examine the documents in person should be established. Employers are required to either initiate or continue the procedure of conducting an in-person document review, to conclude the process by July 31, 2023.
OnBlick is an HR and Immigration Compliance software that simplifies the taxing process of completing Form I-9 verification for new hires. To make the verification process effective, we have connected with around 5000 Authorized Representatives, spread over 490 towns and cities in the US. Employees can choose the nearest representative to physically verify their documents for the Form I-9 process.
OnBlick’s Authorized Representative Network includes trained professionals who are well acquainted with Form I-9 Section-2 and the document verification process. The representatives can conduct the verification directly through the OnBlick SaaS portal. The employees have complete control over the process and they can reschedule appointments in case of emergencies.
With software integrated with all the Electronic Form I-9 guidelines issued by the USCIS, OnBlick ensures that you stay compliant. To know more, click here.