An extension of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance has been declared by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in its latest announcement. Owing to the continued safety measures related to COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has decided to extend the flexibility that was initially granted in March 2020 until May 31, 2021.
The recent allowance includes guidance for employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, and for those who work exclusively in a remote setting due to the COVID-19-related precautions. According to ICE, such employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with Form I-9 until they:
As per its guidance issued on March 2020, DHS stated 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. It was mentioned that this policy solely applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. For those employees who were physically present at a work location, no exceptions were being implemented at that time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9. Employers who were given the relaxation were instructed to:
Worksite enforcement is an aspect of immigration enforcement that focuses on identifying the workers who are not authorized to work, and the employers who knowingly hire unauthorized workers. Employers need to be wary since ICE can examine your organization's records without prior information. Timely completion of Form I-9s, verification of all the supporting documents of employees, retention of the forms, and conduction of internal audits will prepare your organization for ICE raids. When you have to follow the best practices and error-free procedures in order to assure compliance, expert guidance from a Form I-9 compliance software can make things simpler.
OnBlick is a SaaS-based product that has electronic Form I-9 and E-verify integration as its core features. Since OnBlick supports both paper & electronic versions of Form I-9, employers would find it beneficial when their teams work remotely. Moreover, OnBlick offers guidance on conducting internal audits. Try OnBlick today to learn how it facilitates Form I-9 Compliance.