The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced an end to the temporary flexibilities related to Covid-19 that allowed employers to remotely inspect 1-9 Section 2 documents.
Form I-9 is an HR onboarding document that records employment eligibility verification as means of federal government regulations. The new hires must submit the documents required to prove their identity and eligibility for acquiring employment in the US are genuine.
Introduced in 1986, it still causes compliance issues for employers. Even though the current version of the form expired on 31st October 2022, USCIS has announced employers to use the existing form until 31st July 2023. A few structural changes are made to the document and temporary flexibilities are being removed. All these changes will be in effect by July 31.
- Temporary flexibilities related to Covid-19 will be taken away.
- Sections 1 (Employee Information) and 2 (Employer Review and Verification) will be put on one page to simplify the process.
- Section 3 (Reverification) will be moved to a separate, supplemental document.
- Electronic PDF enhancements will be used to make the form agreeable to all electronic devices.
- Instructions on the form will be simplified and reduced to 7 pages.
End of Covid-19 Flexibilities:
DHS issued temporary policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic that allowed employers to inspect Form 1-9 documents remotely. The increased flexibility let employers to expand their application pool outside of their traditional geographical reach.
As DHS has announced an end to these flexibilities, employers are again required to conduct in-person verifications for Section 2 documents of Form 1-9 for the new hires after 31st July 2023.
Employers will get time until August 30, 2023, to complete the in-person verification for employees whose documents were already inspected remotely during the temporary flexibilities.