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Business Immigration

DHS and ICE Extend Deadline for Physical Inspection of Form I-9 Documents

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have announced an extension for employers to complete physical inspections of identity and employment eligibility documents for employees who completed Form I-9 virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for physical inspections is now August 30, 2023.

In response to the pandemic, ICE temporarily allowed virtual reviews of employees’ identity and employment authorization documents instead of in-person inspections. DHS/ICE modified the rule to require in-person reviews once employees began non-remote work on a regular basis. The flexibility provisions were set to end on July 31, 2023, following the termination of the COVID-19 national emergency.

The recent announcement states that employers have until August 30, 2023, to conduct the required physical inspections for employees hired on or after March 20, 2020, who had their documents examined virtually. Employers should indicate “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection in Section 2 or Section 3 of the Form I-9.

Considerations for Employers:

  • The same representative who conducted the virtual inspection should ideally perform the in-person review. If a different representative conducts the physical inspection, a new Section 2 of the Form I-9 should be completed and attached to the remote inspection form;
  • Expired documents can still be physically reviewed, but employers must distinguish between List A or List C documents that require reverification and those that do not;
  • If employees no longer possess the originally presented documents, a new Section 2 with a brief explanation can be completed and attached to the original Section 2; and
  • In cases where employees are working remotely, an authorized representative can assist in completing Section 2, with the employer reviewing for accuracy.
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