The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on August 31, 2021 declared an extension of the flexibilities in rules related to Form I-9 compliance. On account of 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 December 31, 2021.
The current extension will continue to apply the guidance previously issued for employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, and work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19-related precautions. As per ICE, such employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with Form I-9 until they:
According to 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:
With the aid of its Worksite Enforcement Program, ICE investigates both criminal and administrative violations of employers and employees in businesses throughout the U.S. The agency 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 to assure compliance, expert guidance from a Form I-9 compliance software makes things simpler.
OnBlick has electronic Form I-9 and E-verify integration as its core features. It ensures that your Form I-9s are filled out completely and correctly, re-verified when necessary, and retained according to federal regulations and guidelines. Since OnBlick supports both paper & electronic versions of Form I-9, it’s advantageous to employers that have remote teams. Try OnBlick today to learn how it facilitates your company’s Form I-9 Compliance.