Did you know the temporary I-9 flexibilities program that permits employers to conduct remote I-9 inspections is ending on 31 July 2023? This blog covers everything on I-9 updates for May 2023.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is not adamant about extending the I-9 flexibilities program after it expires on 31 July 2023 since the Biden Administration lifted the COVID-19 national and public health emergency on 11 May 2023.
For those who don’t know, Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) flexibilities to manage the safety precautions during the pandemic were announced on 20 March 2020.
The program allows employers to review I-9 documents remotely while recruiting new employees working in remote locations because of the pandemic. Don’t forget the program went through multiple extensions in the past. Moreover, employers get a temporary exemption from physical inspection requirements in such cases until the employees partake in in-person employment on a regular basis or the program ends. Consequently, a physical inspection becomes obligatory within three business days.
According to I-9 updates 2023, employers who availed of I-9 flexibilities are required to complete in-person verification by 30 August 2023. The DHS recently announced on 4 May 2023 about giving employers a 30-day grace period after the program comes to an end to complete the in-person identity and work authorization document verification.
This means employers can perform all the necessary inspections of employees they recruited on or after 20 March 2020 who have only completed remote I-9 verification until 30 August 2023.
The DHS is currently reviewing the comments about the proposed virtual I-9 verification rule, with plans to announce the final rule and revised Form I-9 soon.
In case you are unaware, the DHS proposed a rule to permit the government agency to develop alternative procedures for I-9 verification to respond to flexible work environments and technological advancements effectively. The proposed changes seek to adjust regulations that will ultimately authorize employers to opt for different options for physical document inspection. Needless to say, these measures look to adequately deal with the massive expansion of telework and remote work arrangements that took place during the pandemic.
DHS is in the process of reviewing the comments submitted during the public comment period, which ended on 17 October 2022.
We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on US immigration.