The ability to inspect Form I-9 documents virtually has been extended through August 31, 2021 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). While this policy was implemented in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, companies who are completely remote or transitioning employees back into the office can still inspect and review Section 2 Form I-9 documents virtually by video link, fax, or email.
It is important to note that virtual review is not mandatory, and employers can still follow the standard Form I-9 guidelines. However, if you continue inspecting I-9 documents remotely, ensure you are following the Form I-9 documentation correctly and maintain a list of all employees who were verified virtually. Remember that the timelines for completing the I-9 form remains the same where Section 1 must be completed by the employee’s start date and Section 2 must be completed within three business days of the start date.
Even though employers are still able to document I-9’s virtually, it is recommended to switch to in person verification as soon as possible to prepare for the termination of this flexibility. When normal operations resume, the employee’s documents who were verified remotely must be reviewed within 3 days of the return to the workplace. Read the Form I-9 extension here.