ICE Announces Another Extension of Flexible Form I-9 Rules Due to Coronavirus

Form I-9 Updates

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On June 16, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – an agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – announced another extension of flexible rules for Form I-9 compliance that were granted earlier in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to a news release from ICE.

On March 19, 2020, the DHS announced it would defer the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9 compliance under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) for 60 days until May 19, 2020. On May 19, 2020, the DHS extended this deferment policy for an additional 30 days until June 19, 2019.

Due to the continued precautions related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the DHS has decided to once again extend this policy for employers operating 100 percent remotely in light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) for an additional 30 days. The expiration date for these Form I-9 accommodations is now July 19, 2020.

Going forward, the DHS will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance as needed. Employers are required to monitor the DHS website and the ICE website for additional updates regarding when the extensions will be terminated, and normal operations will resume.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires employers in the United States to complete the ‘Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification’ for all newly-hired employees to verify their identity and their employment authorization to work in the country. Both employers and employees must complete the form.

On January 31, 2020, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – an agency overseeing lawful immigration to the United States – published a new Form I-9 with a version date of “10/21/2019” that employers were required to start using by May 1, 2020. The new Form I-9 is available at www.uscis.gov/i-9.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of June 17, 2020, there are approximately 8.1 million global cases and 444,000 global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 2.1 million cases and 116,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) – a leading global background check provider – provides a robust solution that simplifies the Form I-9 process so employers may compliantly verify work status and electronically capture the required information. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Form-I-9-E-Verify/.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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