The US Department of Homeland Security will defer the physical presence requirements for Form I-9 completion for employers and workplaces that are operating remotely and permit virtual review, which must be timely. In-person verification must occur within three days of return to worksite or the end of the national emergency.
In response to the challenges that employers are facing when seeking to comply with Form I-9 requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Friday that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Pursuant to this guidance:
These provisions are expected to remain in effect until May 20, 2020, or within three business days after the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first.
As explained in our alert of March 16, 2020, employers may designate an authorized representative to act on their behalf to complete Section 2. An authorized representative can be any person the employer designates to complete and sign Form I-9 on their behalf. The employer is liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violations of the employer sanctions laws committed by the person designated to act on the employer’s behalf. The temporary relaxation of the document review requirements described above does not change the employer’s ability to use an authorized representative for in-person completion of Form I-9.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
Laura C. Garvin
Christina M. Gonzaga