Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that effective immediately, “employers taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19” will be temporarily allowed to review new employees’ “section 2” documents remotely when completing I-9 Forms.
This can include, for example, reviewing the documents via web camera or emailed images. This relaxes long-standing policy that ordinarily requires a physical, in-person inspection.
Bear in mind, however, that: The flexibility is only available when because of COVID-19 arrangements specifically, there are no employees physically present at what would otherwise be the employee’s work location; and
An employer that uses this option must provide written documentation of its “remote on boarding and telework policy for each employee.”
The employer should still retain copies of the remotely-inspected documents – e.g., the photos, still frames from the video, etc.; and
In the section 2 “additional comments” field of the form, the employer should note the delay in physical inspection and give “COVID-19” as the reason;
Once the employer resumes normal operations, it must physically examine the documents, in person, within three business days, and make a notation of this on the I-9 Form, including the date on which it was done; and
This flexibility will last until the earlier of (a) May 19th, 2020, or (b) the third business day following “the termination of the National Emergency.”
If you would like assistance with an immigration and nationality law issue or to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic potentially may affect your immigration status, NPZ Law Group, P.C. is here to help you, your family, friends, and business associates.
We invite you to visit us on the web at www.visaserve.com or to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to call us at 201.670.0006 for a consultation.