I-9 Forms: DHS Extends Flexibility Regarding In-Person Verification of Required I-9 Documents to July 2023

By Michael L. Dodd, Partner and PIA Association Counsel, Ferrara Fiorenza PC

Updated on October 19, 2022

Recently, we reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was requiring employers to go back to the old process of physically inspecting Form I-9 ID and authorization documents within three business days of a new hire starting work.  A process that DHS had temporarily modified during the pandemic.  Specifically, when the pandemic hit in 2020, DHS permitted employers to collect and inspect their employees’ ID and employment authorization documents remotely, through email, fax, etc. However, they were only permitted to do so until they could “safely” perform in-person inspections.

Until last week, DHS reported that this flexibility was ending on October 31, 2022.  On October 11, DHS announced that “[d]ue to the continued safety precautions related to COVID-19, DHS will extend the updated flexibilities until July 31, 2023.”

Original post published September 30, 2022

During the pandemic, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) permitted employers to defer the legal requirement that they inspect a new hire’s identity and employment authorization documents in person when completing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Form I-9.  DHS is now rescinding this approach, thereby requiring employers to go back to the old process of physically inspecting these documents within three business days of a new hire starting work.  The purpose of the physical inspection of documents is to verify that they “reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to” the named employee.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, DHS permitted employers to collect and inspect their employees’ ID and employment authorization documents remotely, through email, fax, etc. However, they were only permitted to do so until they could “safely” perform in-person inspections. This change is now ending on October 31, 2022.

This means that as of November 1, 2022, all new hires must undergo the in-person Form I-9 verification process. Moreover, by November 3, 2022, all employees who were onboarded using the remote verification process must report to their employers in person to verify their documentation for Form I-9.  Employers will need to update those employees’ I-9 forms accordingly.  Please note that a failure to comply with these requirements can lead to substantial penalties for employers.

If you have any questions or need any assistance, please contact Michael L. Dodd, Association Counsel, Ferrara Fiorenza PC, (315) 437-7600, mldodd@ferrarafirm.com.

Tim Freeman, President
Printing Industries Alliance
Office: (716) 691-3211
Cell: (716) 983-3826

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