DHS Partially Ends Form I-9 Remote Work Flexibility


Historically, employers were legally required to conduct an in-person inspection of I-9 Section 2 documents to verify an employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States. That includes the employee’s passport, driver’s license, and/or social security card.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued Temporary Policies Related to COVID-19. This way, employers were allowed to remotely inspect these documents.

Employers increasingly relied on I-9’s remote verification. The increased flexibility allowed employers to expand their applicant pools and hire employees outside their traditional geographical reach.

Now, DHS announced that it is ending the temporary flexibilities and will again require employers to conduct in-person verifications for employees hired after March 20, 2020.

The temporary verification flexibilities will end on July 31, 2023. For new hires after that date, employers will need to perform in-person verification.

Employers will have until August 30, 2023, to complete in-person physical documentation inspection and I-9 form annotations for employees whose documents were already inspected remotely during the temporary flexibilities.

As a result of these changes, many employers will need to develop a game plan to verify documents for employees residing outside their traditional geographic reach.

Employers will want to plan ahead, ensuring they can complete all required physical inspections of documents by the deadline.


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