On July 31, 2023, the temporary flexibilities with “Form I‑9, Employment Eligibility Verification” requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic will sunset and employers will have 30 days to reach compliance by August 30, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced in a news release.
In March 2020, the DHS announced that due to the COVID-19 pandemic it would defer the requirement that employers review identity and employment authorization documents of employees in the physical presence of employees, instead allowing that to occur remotely, with the expectation that physical inspection would occur after normal operations resumed.
As noted in the March 2020 announcement, employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to the COVID-19 pandemic were allowed to temporarily defer physical examination of identity and employment authorization documents. Instead, employers could examine the documents of employees remotely and enter “COVID-19” as the reason.
The news release from DHS and ICE clarifies for employers that they have until August 30, 2023, to perform all required physical examinations of identity and employment eligibility documents for those individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who have only received a virtual or remote examination under the Form I-9 flexibilities due to COVID-19.
Since the first expiration date of May 19, 2020, the flexibilities in Form I-9 requirements were extended to June 19, 2020, July 19, 2020, August 19, 2020, September 19, 2020, November 19, 2020, December 31, 2020, January 31, 2021, March 31, 2021, May 31, 2021, August 31, 2021, December 31, 2021, April 30, 2022, October 31, 2022, and lastly July 31, 2023.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person that has caused approximately 676 million cases and 6.8 million deaths globally and approximately 103 million cases and 1.1 million deaths in the United States, according to research from Johns Hopkins University that stopped collecting data in March 2023.
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