NPZ HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT UPDATE: Latest Form I-9 Update in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

From June 1st, 2021, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has made it more flexible for employers to comply with specific I-9 employment eligibility verification requirements because of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. Thus, the validity of the extended policies is till August 31st, 2021.

Here is an overview of the latest Form I-9 update.

Form I-9 Receipt Policy Updated

The USCIS has implemented various updates regarding I-9 employment eligibility verification from the time it introduced flexibility policies due to COVID-19. The latest Form I-9 update is to the “receipt rule,” in which a worker must provide evidence of filing an application to replace a List A, B, or C document that was damaged, stolen, or lost. Thus, the worker must provide evidence of replacing the document within 90 days. However, the USCIS has updated this policy, changing it to:

The employee may present an acceptable document(s) to verify his/her identity and/or employment authorization if he/she does not have access to the original document that was provided for the issued receipt. The employee must provide the alternative document(s) within 90 days, and employers may accept such documentation.

Furthermore, USCIS confirmed that employers must prepare a new Section 2 and attach it to the original Form I-9 for employment eligibility verification if the employee provides a document that is different from that being replaced.

The Effect of the Latest Form I-9 Update on Employers

The flexibility guidelines of the latest Form I-9 update allow employers to use scanned copies of documents to recruiting, hiring, and onboarding employees in remote settings, even though these circumstances could present issues compared to meeting the requirements for traditional in-person I-9 employment eligibility verification.

There is still no clarity on the implications of these updated policies in the long term. This is especially so regarding whether the new flexibility on in-person requirements by ICE will remain after the pandemic settles and whether it will remain for employers that offer full-time remote work to employees. That said, the fact that ICE continues to stay flexible despite the fact that the number of employees returning to work in offices indicates that there is some hope that the updated policies from the latest I-Form 9 update may stay this way for the foreseeable future.

Moreover, the expanded receipt rule for lawful permanent residents gives them added flexibility with respect to work and travel authorization while they wait for the new Form I-551 permanent resident card to be issued. It indicates that the government understands that processing times are slow, and exemptions and alternations are necessary for persons who cannot show renewed documents by no fault of their own.

If you have questions or need additional information about US Immigration and Nationality Laws, please feel free to contact the NPZ Law Group. If you have more questions on how these laws in the US may impact you or your family, contact the lawyers specialized in US Immigration and Nationality laws at our law firm. You can send us an email at, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 (x104). In addition to that, we invite you to find more information on our website at