On May 14, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of rules allowing employers flexibility in Form I-9 compliance. Under the rules, employers may forego the requirement that an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents (Form I-9 Section 2 documents) be reviewed in the employee’s physical presence. This in-person flexibility was permitted because many employers and employees were taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19. Instead, employers must take the following actions to verify an employee’s identity and employment authorization via Section 2 documents:
This flexibility in identity and authorization documents only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. The May 14 announcement extends the flexibility for an additional 30 days (it was set to expire on May 19) in response to the need for continued COVID-19 precautions.
Additionally, effective March 19, 2020, employers who were served notices of inspection from ICE during the month of March 2020, and did not respond, were granted an automatic extension for 60 days from the effective date. ICE will grant an additional 30-day extension for these employers as well, if needed.