DHS Extends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.
This temporary guidance was set to expire March 31. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended the Form I-9 flexibility policy an additional 60 days until May 31, 2021.
This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. See the original news release from March 23, 2020 for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9. Please also consult ICE’s guidance for clarification on this provision.
Employers must monitor the DHS and ICE’s Workforce Enforcement announcements about when the extensions end and normal operations resume.
E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see the COVID-19 webpage for more information.
Preventing Discrimination in the Form I-9 and E-Verify Processes
Employers must accept any valid document an employee presents as long as the document reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee.
- Ask to see employment authorization documents before an individual accepts a job offer;
- Refuse to accept a document or refuse to hire an individual because a document will expire in the future;
- Refuse an acceptable receipt;
- Request a specific document for Form I-9; or
- Request specific documents to create an E-Verify case or based on an E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmation.
|Types||What is prohibited?||Which employers are covered?|
|Citizenship or immigration status||Employers cannot discriminate against individuals when hiring, firing, or recruiting because the individuals are or are not U.S. citizens, or because of their immigration status or type of employment authorization. U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, asylees, refugees, and recent permanent residents are protected from this type of discrimination.||Employers with four or more employees are covered.|
|National origin||Employers cannot discriminate against individuals when hiring, firing, or recruiting based on the individual’s place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they are perceived as looking or sounding “foreign.”||Generally, IER covers employers with four to 14 employees. (Generally, the EEOC covers employers with more than 14 employees. The EEOC also covers other aspects of employment, including terms and conditions.)|
|Unfair documentary practices|
Employers cannot, based on an individual’s citizenship, immigration status, or national origin:
Employers cannot intimidate, threaten, coerce, or retaliate against a person because that person: