Earlier this month the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) jointly announced that the remote verification of documents required under Form I-9 enacted in response to Covid-19 will end on July 31, 2023.
Form I-9 Employer Requirements
Employers must complete and retain a completed Form I-9 for every new hire. The Form I-9 is a way for the employer to confirm the identity and eligibility of the employee for work. This is done by having the employee fill in Section I and the employer completes Section II by physically reviewing original documents (for example, driver’s license, passport or birth certificate) for authenticity and then on the appropriate part of Section II identify the documents reviewed and complete the information requested as it relates to each document reviewed.
Temporary Form I-9 Covid Policies
The inspection of documents in the presence was changed to allow for remote (zoom, email) to allow employees who had physical proximity concerns relating to Covid-19. Employers who confirmed identity remotely were required to enter on the Additional Information Section of the Form I-9 “Covid-19 Remote Inspection” for the reason why physical inspection was delayed. This rule change required that once normal operations resumed, employees who used remote verification must report to their employers with the documents presented remotely within three days.
Remote Form I-9 Compliance Ends July 31, 2023
Remote employment eligibility verification will end on July 31, 2023. After the employer reviews the documents produced the employer must note directly under the Covid-19 Remote Inspection that the documents were physically examined along with the name and position of the employee who examined these documents. For an example of the Form I-9 showing how to make this notation please click here.
Sanctions for Failure to Comply and Store Form I-9
The completed Form I-9 along with copies of the documents reviewed must be retained (either in paper or electronic format) for either three years after the date of hire or for one year after the employment ended. DHS or ICE may audit employer records and employers are expected to reply with requested Form I-9 documentation in as little as three days. Fines for violations can range from as little as several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per violation for a first time offense.
If you have any questions regarding this post, other employer employee compliance issues, or any other aspect of your business, please feel free to contact any of our business attorneys at Anderson Leavitt.
This entry is presented for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.