E-Verify Questions and Answers
On a temporary basis due to COVID-19, employers and workplaces that are operating remotely have the option to inspect Form I-9 documents remotely. Employers who choose the remote inspection option may inspect the Section 2 documents over video link, fax, email, etc. Employers should obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents their employees provide, within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.
After they inspect the employee’s documents remotely and determine whether the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the employee, they should create an E-Verify case for the employee. They should still follow current guidance and create the E-Verify case for their new hire within three business days from the date of hire. Employers must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case. If case creation is delayed due to COVID-19 precautions, select “Other” from the drop-down list and enter “COVID-19” as the specific reason.
The current DHS guidance allows for flexibility only when completing a Form I-9 for a new employee that is only working remotely, but as stated in paragraph 5 of the DHS news release, “...if newly hired employees or existing employees are subject to COVID-19 quarantine or lockdown protocols, DHS will evaluate this on a case-by-case basis.”
Although many federal and state agencies are closed to the public, internal operations continue. If available, employees should use available customer service phone lines, emails to contact customer service, and other online portals federal and state agencies may have available.
This is an ongoing issue. DHS will reassess this policy if necessary.
If a state has automatically extended the employee’s driver’s license due to COVID-19, employers should enter the actual expiration date as printed on the employee’s document when creating the E-Verify case.