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DHS Ends Flexibility on I-9 Document Inspection on July 31, 2023

By July 13, 2023July 24th, 2023Homeland Security (DHS), HR, I-9 Documents

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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that it will end its COVID-19 temporary flexibilities for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification on July 31, 2023.

Employers must now complete in-person physical document inspections for employees whose documents were inspected remotely during the temporary flexibilities. These inspections must be completed by August 30, 2023.

When onboarding a new employee, employers are required to collect certain identification documents in person in order to complete I-9 forms. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) relaxed the procedures for inspecting these documents because employers were limiting physical proximity and in-person meetings.

Where COVID restrictions have remained in place, DHS has continued to allow employers to review documents remotely using technologies such as Zoom, video chat, FaceTime, fax or other electronic means.

What’s Next for I-9 Compliance
We previously shared that this provision was likely to end as more workplaces return to in-person operations and fewer employees work remotely. However, DHS allowed businesses to continue remote inspections for a period of time while the agency evaluated whether it would create a permanent framework for employers to remotely review employees’ I-9 documents.

On August 18, 2022, DHS issued a proposed rule that would allow alternative procedures for the examination of identity and employment eligibility documents. The public comment period closed on October 17, 2022. DHS has reviewed the public comments and issued the final rule, effective July 31, 2023.

If you have questions about I-9 document verification or other human resource administration tasks, please contact MarathonHR to discuss.

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