Employers Should Be Sure to Comply with Post-COVID I-9 Regulations


The COVID-19 pandemic caused many changes to several government policies. Some of these changes were to the employment eligibility verification process (Form I-9). For example, the government implemented temporary changes for completing Form I-9 to accommodate employers with employees working remotely.

However, many employers have since returned to their regular operations. In addition, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has updated the temporary policies implemented during the pandemic..

Expired List B Documents

From May 1, 2020, through April 30, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) permitted employees to show expired List B documents to complete Form I-9. This change addressed employees’ delays when getting document renewals from government agencies and elsewhere because of COVID-19. However, this policy expired on May 1, 2022. Therefore, employers must update the Form I-9s of employees who presented expired List B documents to provide current List B identity documents.

Remote Inspection of Documents

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the DHS extended the flexibility for employers with workplaces operating remotely until October 31, 2022. Therefore, these employers can inspect the identity and employment eligibility documents of employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, and remotely retain copies of these documents.

Employers using this flexibility must also create written documentation of their policies for remote onboarding and telework for every new employee. In addition, employers should check I-9 Central regularly to ensure they understand all regulations for this temporary flexibility and keep up with any changes to the policy.

Employers must remember that the remote inspection’s flexibility may end after October 31, 2022. Therefore, employers should begin in-person examinations of remotely recorded Form I-9s soon.

Additionally, the flexibilities no longer apply when an employer resumes normal operations. Any employees onboarded using remote verification must have their identity and employment eligibility documents inspected in person within three business days. The flexibilities also do not apply to employees doing non-remote work on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis.

Final Thoughts

These changes show how difficult it can be to keep up with the Form I-9 regulations. However, an electronic I-9 management system can make the process much easier. It guides employers through the entire process and stores the form and associated documents for easy retrieval. The system also regularly updates, keeping up with the latest I-9 regulations.

Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance