I-9 Flexibilities Extension

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many temporary changes in the U.S. Immigration Law arena. Immigration officials, for instance, have had to make allowances in order to accommodate health and safety regulations. Among such allowances, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorized certain compliance flexibility rules relating to Form I-9.

I-9 Flexibilities Extension

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is used to verify both the identity and employment authorization status of all employees hired for employment in the United States. Every U.S. employer is obligated to fully and accurately complete Form I-9 for each individual they hire to work for them in the U.S. This holds true regardless of the employee’s citizenship status. Both the employer and the employee have obligations regarding the completion of the Form I-9.

As part of the form completion, the employee must attest to their employment authorization to work in the U.S. The employee is also obligated to present documents supporting their attestation that they are authorized to work in the U.S. A list of documents acceptable for these purposes can be found on the Form. The employer is required to examine the documents supporting the identity and work authorization of the employee and inspect them to ascertain whether they appear to be genuine on their face and applicable to the employee showing them. The employer must then record the relevant information on the Form I-9. Employers are also required to retain the Form I-9 for a specified period. These records must be available for inspection upon request by authorized government officials.

Pursuant to Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), there is a physical presence requirement associated with the execution of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Due to COVID-19 safety and health restrictions, however, the Department of Homeland Security chose to defer this physical presence requirement. Back in April, ICE announced another extension of the deferral of the physical presence requirement with regard to Form I-9. This means that employers are authorized to remotely obtain, inspect, and retain copies of Form I-9 documents within 3 days of an employee’s start date until October 31, 2022, unless another extension is granted. Employers should be sure to enter the reason for the delay of a physical inspection in the “additional information” portion for the Section 2 Form I-9 documents and to reference same as “COVID-19.”

Immigration Law Attorneys

The changes to immigration requirements over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic have been profound and remain in constant flux. Employers and employees alike should be cognizant of the changes of such requirements. For the most up to date information in the U.S. and Canada immigration law arenas, you can count on the dedicated team of immigration law attorneys at Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. The trust our clients place in us speaks for itself. We are committed to excellence and can support you throughout any immigration process you face. Contact us today.

You can feel free to checkout our website at www.visaserve.com or you can e-mail us at info@visaserve.com or you can call us at 201-670-0006 (x204) anytime.