Temporary I-9 Procedure for New Hires and Reverifications that Cannot Report to the Worksite

On March 20, 2020, DHS announced temporary COIVD-19 flexibility for employers to complete an I-9 for new hires or reverifications using video, e-mail, or fax review of their work authorization documents.  Then when normal operations resume, the company must verify the individual and their original documents in person within 3 business days.  Alternatively, an employer can still designate an authorized individual unrelated to the company to physically review the documents and complete Section 2 on their behalf.

Where the employee cannot physically come into the office due to the COVID-19 emergency, DHS is allowing a temporary video review of the work authorization documents, or by e-mail or fax.  The employee would still complete Section 1 by the first day of hire and e-mail a scanned copy to the employer along with their work authorization documents.  The employer would then print and sign Section 2 by the 4th day of hire.  Then when the company returns to normal operations, they must reverify the original documents in person with the employee within 3 business days.

Section 2 of the I-9 “Additional Information Box” found on Page 2 should be notated “COVID-19” for the initial remote review.

Then for the late in-person review when the employee returns to the office the employer should notate in the Additional Information Box “Documents Physically Examined on X date / COVID-19” and the employer can sign and date next to it.

This procedure is expected to last for 60 days or if the national emergency is cancelled sooner, then for 3 business days after the cancellation.  For more information, see: https://www.ice.gov/news/releases/dhs-announces-flexibility-requirements-related-form-i-9-compliance.

E-Verify Relief for Tentative Non-Confirmations

DHS announced on March 21, 2020 that E-Verify is extending the timeframe for a new hire to take action to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) due to the office closures of the Social Security Administration and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services due to COVID-19.

Employers must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case.  If the case creation is delayed due to COVID-19 precautions, select “Other from the drop-down list and enter “COVID-19” as the specific reason.  For more information, see: https://www.e-verify.gov/about-e-verify/whats-new.

Note:  As you are aware, due to COVID-19, things are changing quickly.  The above discussion represents our best interpretation of where things currently stand with I-9’s and E-Verify.  For more guidance and updates, please contact your Sheppard Mullin attorney.

For more legal insights visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

*This alert is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to form an attorney client relationship. Please contact your Sheppard Mullin attorney contact for additional information.*