On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced an inspection deferral policy that would provide flexibility for completing Form I-9 documents remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the latest guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Customers and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), the flexibility provided by the Form I-9 remote verification policy will expire on July 31, 2023. 

As a result, employers must conduct a physical in-person examination of identity and employment eligibility documents that would have previously been inspected remotely or virtually. This examination must be completed by August 30, 2023. 

This in-person verification requirement applies to all employees, including those who are still working entirely remote as well as employers who’ve adopted a fully remote business model and completely shuttered all their physical locations. 

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Employers who fail to comply with this requirement may be subject to civil and criminal penalties and monetary fines of up to $10,000 per Form I-9, depending on severity of each violation.

In updating all I-9s completed for such affected emploees from March 20, 2020 to the present, the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided the following best practice examples for employers on how to notate remote inspections and complete the required physical Form I-9 inspection. 

For more information, please review DHS Ends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility | USCIS 

This article is intended as general information and does not constitute legal advice. 

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