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Flexible I-9 Rules for Remote Workers Extended until July 31, 2023

Flexible I-9 Rules for Remote Workers Extended until July 31, 2023

Federal immigration officials recently announced that they will permit remote review of new hires’ I-9 documentation for those who work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19 related precautions through July 2023. These new hires are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) until they undertake non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated - whichever is earlier. 

The original March 2020 guidance provides the basic instructions on how to complete these remote I-9s. In summary, the electronic I-9 would be completed in Efficenter as usual, along with these additional steps: 

  1. Employer must inspect the documents remotely (via fax, video, email, etc.)
  2. Employer must obtain and keep copies of these documents within 3 business days.

Once the employee returns to work or is no longer remote due to COVID precautions:

  1. Employer must have employee report for in-person verification of I-9 documents within 3 business days.
  2. Employer must enter (a) “documents physically examined”, (b) the applicable date of examination, and (c) “COVID-19” as the reason for the delay into the Additional Information field. This would need to be handled by the employer printing off the original I-9, writing in the edits & initialing beside them, and rescanning the updated I-9 back into the employee’s file. If the person making the edits is not the same person that originally completed Section 2, they should write in their name & title instead of simply initialing the edits, or they may complete a new Section 2.

If a remote employee leaves employment before an in-person inspection of documents is possible, the employer should record this in a memorandum and attach it to the employee’s Form I-9. 

Employers who avail themselves of this remote option must retain written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee.



Adams Keegan

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