Coronavirus Update: Department of Homeland Security Issues Guidelines on Remote I-9 Verification during COVID-19

By March 26, 2020December 2nd, 2020Covid 19
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Due to many companies moving operations to remote working or working from home, the Department of Homeland Security has issued interim guidelines on remote I-9 verification during this emergency. In normal times, when an employee starts at a company, companies are obligated to completes the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. This verification is mandatory for all employees, including U.S. citizens. The procedure involves the employers filling out the I-9 form and verifying in person one or two pieces of government issued identification from the employee to prove the employee’s eligibility.

Under the new emergency guidelines, DHS is allowing the employers to review the identity and employment authorization documents remotely (video, fax, or email) in absence of the employee’s physical presence. When the emergency is over, the employer must physically review the documents in person with the employee present. This accommodation does not apply to employees and companies that are still presently working at the job site. These emergency guidelines are in place for 60 days, or 3 days after the national emergency is over, whichever comes first. The normal timeline for I-9 completion (the form must be completed by the employee’s start date and the document review must be completed within 3 business days of the employee starting) remains in place.

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