The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ends COVID-19 temporary flexibilities for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification,  on July 31, 2023. Employers will have thirty (30) days to reach compliance with Form I-9 requirements through August 30, 2023. The COVID-19 flexibilities were initially announced in March 2020 and updated in March 2021. For employees who were hired on or after March 20, 2020, and for whom the employer has only conducted a remote inspection of the Form I-9 documents, employers must complete in-person physical inspection of identity and employment authorization documents, and annotate the Form I-9 for its employees on or by August 30, 2023.

To annotate the Form I-9, employers should write in Section 2 of the form the date of the remote inspection, the date of the physical inspection, and who performed the physical inspection. If the person who performed the remote inspection also performs the physical inspection, they should indicate the date they physically examined the documents then add their initials in the “Additional Information” field. If the person who performed the remote inspection cannot perform the physical inspection, the person who performs the physical inspection should indicate the date they physically examined the documents and their full name and title in the “Additional Information” field.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) website has provided samples on how to annotate the Form I-9, here.

If the documents used during the remote inspection have since expired, employers should not request a new document and can proceed with the physical inspection of the same document as long as the document was not expired at the time of the initial remote inspection. Documents may also be different than the ones initially presented due to an employee having a different immigration or U.S. citizenship status, or they may no longer have the original documents presented during the remote inspection.

If the employee presents acceptable documents for in-person inspection that are different than the ones they presented from the remote inspection, the employer may either:

  1. Complete Section 2 on a new Form I-9 and attach it to the Form I-9 used for remote inspection; or
  2. Provide the document title, document number, issuing authority, and expiration date (if any) of the new document in the “Additional Information” field and write that the employee presented this document at the physical inspection.

For employees who continue to work remotely, an employer may use an authorized representative to complete in-person, physical verification of I-9 documentation on the employer’s behalf. Please also find frequently asked questions and answers listed on the USCIS website about the physical inspection of Form I-9 and what is required, here.

For further information, please contact:

Lauren M. Hopwood

Makana Ellis

This information is for educational purposes only to provide general information and a general understanding of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish any attorney-client relationship.