I-9 Update

DHS Announces Extension of Form I-9 Flexibilities

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Earlier today, April 25, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced an extension of the Form I-9 flexibilities until October 31, 2022. The Form I-9 flexibilities were first introduced in March 2020 and later updated in March 2021 as a COVID-19-related safety precaution.

This Form I-9 extension will carry forward the policies that went into effect on April 1, 2021: 

  • The requirement that employers inspect employees’ Form I-9 identity and employment eligibility documentation in person applies only to those employees who physically report to work at a company location on any regular, consistent, or predictable basis.
  • Employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, who work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19 related precautions, are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with Form I-9 until they undertake non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier.
  • If an employer is unable to timely inspect and verify, in-person, the Form I-9 supporting documents of employee(s) hired since March 20, 2020, they may memorialize the reason(s) for this inability in a memorandum retained with each affected employee’s Form I-9. Any such reason(s) will be evaluated, on a case-by-case basis, by DHS ICE in the event of a Form I-9 audit.

The Form I-9 flexibilities announced in March 2020 do not preclude employers from commencing the in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for employees hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who previously presented such documents for remote inspection.

Erickson Insights
Before today's announcement, the Form I-9 flexibilities were scheduled to end on April 30, 2022. This six-month extension will considerably reduce the pressure on employers with respect to the I-9 process.  Still, employers should monitor the DHS and ICE websites for additional updates regarding the status of Form I-9 completion flexibilities.

Hiba Mona Anver

Partner/Shareholder, Erickson Immigration Group