On April 25, 2022, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – a federal law enforcement agency under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – announced an extension of the flexibilities in compliance requirements for the “Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification” that were set to expire on April 30, 2022, to October 31, 2022.
On March 20, 2020, in response to public health guidance and precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DHS announced it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements of the Form I-9 under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) only for employers and workplaces that were operating remotely.
Effective April 1, 2021, the DHS updated its Form I-9 guidance. Employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, who worked exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19 precautions were temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Form I-9 under Section 274A of the INA until they undertook non-remote employment.
Employers should monitor the DHS and ICE websites for updates regarding when the extensions will be terminated. For more information about temporary policies related to COVID-19, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website at www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/form-i-9-related-news/temporary-policies-related-to-covid-19.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires employers in the United States to complete Form I-9 for all employees hired after November 6, 1986, to verify their identity and their employment authorization to work in the country. Both employers and employees must complete the Form I-9 available at www.uscis.gov/i-9.
COVID-19 is a potentially deadly respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of the end of April 2022, there are more than 510 million global cases and 6.2 million global deaths, while the United States leads the world with more than 80 million cases and 990,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.
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