DHS and ICE recently announced another extension of the flexibility of virtual verification to comply with the requirements of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Previously, the deadline for flexible verification was set to expire on August 18. However, due to dangers associated with the online COVID-19 pandemic, DHS decided to extend the policy for another 30 days.
Keep in mind, however, that this provision only applies to those workplaces and employers that are operating remotely.
If you are an e-Verify participant who qualifies and you decide to utilize the remote inspection option, please follow current guidance. This includes creating cases within three business days from the date of hire for new employees.
For more information on exactly how employers can deal with employment eligibility documents remotely and still complete Section 2 of Form I-9 correctly, check out the original USCIS news release from back in March.
It is vital for employers to keep their I-9s accurate and up-to-date to avoid violations when I-9 audits resume. Remember, the Administration was aggressive in performing audits before the start of the pandemic, and I-9 violation fines can run anywhere from $232-$2,292 for each instance.
We will continue to update our readers with information on when the extensions are expected to end and normal operations will resume, but we also encourage employers to monitor both the DHS and ICE websites for the most current news.