News Flash: The I-9 Remote Inspection Option Extended Until August 19th, 2020

On July 19, 2020, The U.S Department of Homeland Security announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) through August 19, 2020. The “remote inspection option” applies to recently recruited employees who taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 or to employers who are currently operating remotely.

By utilizing the remote inspection option, an employer will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, the employer must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days of the employee’s first day of work.

The employer must write “COVID-19″ as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 “Additional Information” field once physical inspection takes place after normal business operations resume. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 “Additional Information” field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate.