Form I-9 Updates: Continued Flexibility in Remote Form I-9 Verification, Acceptable Employment Authorization Documents

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Form I-9 Flexibility in Completion Requirements.  In order to accommodate social distancing and remote work during the pandemic, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced special rules permitting employers to remotely inspect employee work authorization documents visually, with physical inspection delayed to a later date.  This accommodation was set to expire on May 19, but was extended in May, June, and July.  ICE has now announced that accommodation will be extended another 30 days from its last expiry date of August 18, 2020.

Employment Authorization Documents (EAD).  Effective August 19, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that employees may submit the paper Form I-797 (Notice of Action to Approve an Application for Employment Authorization) dated between December 1, 2019 and August 20, 2020 as a “List C” document for the purposes of completing Form I-9.  If provisioned, employers are required to accept Form I-797 as proof of eligibility to work, though the employee would still need to provide a “List B” document as well.

This measure is intended to supplement the slowdown in producing I-766 EAD cards, caused by the COVID-19 health emergency and technical difficulties.

Employers who accept Form I-797 as a List C document must revalidate the worker’s Form I-9 document by December 1, 2020.  Workers are encouraged to use the corresponding I-766 Employment Authorization Document to revalidate, but are not required to do so.

Action Items

  1. Look for more updates from ICE on when accommodation extensions end and normal operations resume.
  2. Have hiring managers trained on additional acceptable List C documents, and implement a process for re-validating Form I-9s using I-797 forms as a list document.
  3. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2020 ManagEase

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