Form I-9 Requirements Questions and Answers
A. Yes, here is an overview:
- The employee completes Section 1 no later than the first day of employment.
There is no change to current requirements.
- The employer completes Section 2 within three business days of their employee’s first day of employment.
There is no change to current requirements for employees who are physically present at a work location.
Employers and workplaces that are operating remotely may follow the DHS news release that announced flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9.
If employers are performing inspections remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email, etc.) they must obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the Section 2 documents within three business day of hire. In the Additional Information field, employers may indicate that remote inspection was completed and when. A physical inspection must take place after normal operations resume. Employers should enter “COVID-19,” the date of the physical inspection and who conducted it in the Additional Information field. For more information, please see our Form I-9 mockups for visual examples of how remote and physical inspection should be notated.
As a reminder, the employer may designate an authorized representative to complete Section 2 or 3 of Form I-9 on behalf of the company, including personnel officers, foremen, agents or notary public. The Department of Homeland Security does not require the authorized representative to have specific agreements or other documentation for Form I-9 purposes. If an authorized representative completes Form I-9 on behalf of the employer, the employer is still liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process.
- The employer physically examines their employee’s documents with their employee present.
DHS has announced changes to these procedures in certain circumstances; see the news release that announced flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9.
- The employer completes Section 3, Reverification.
DHS has announced changes to these procedures; the ability to inspect documents remotely for some employers applies to reverification as well. See the March 20 news release for details on remote inspection.
If you are updating Section 3, write “COVID-19” in the margin or annotate in the additional information field.
There is no change to current requirements for employees physically present at a work location.
NOTE: If you previously wrote “COVID-19 EXT” in the margin or in the Additional Information field on a Form I-9 when completing Section 3, you do not need to correct this notation.
The guidance states that once normal operations resume, the employee must report to the employer for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation. The employer should physically examine the employee’s original identity and work authorization documentation in the presence of the employee. After document review, enter in the Additional Information field “COVID 19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay, “documents physically examined” and the date of physical inspection and who conducted it.
Please see our Form I-9 mockups for visual examples of how remote and physical inspection should be notated.
If the employee’s state ID or driver’s license expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the state has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, then it is acceptable as a List B document for Form I-9. Enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2 and enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information field. Employers may also attach a copy of the state motor vehicle department’s webpage or other notice indicating that their documents have been extended.
Employers can confirm that a state has auto-extended the expiration date of its state IDs and driver’s licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicle’s website.
The employer can physically or electronically attach a note to an employee’s Form I-9 providing the information that ICE guidance has requested in the Form I-9 “Additional Information” field. Any notation should clearly explain the situation and be signed and dated by the employer.
The employer can either:
- Complete Section 2 on a new Form I-9 and attach it to the Form I-9 used for remote inspection; or
- Provide information about the new document in the Additional Information field and write that the employee presented this document at physical inspection.
(As a best practice, DHS recommends option 1.)
As long as the employee’s document was unexpired at the time of remote inspection, the employer should not request a new document and can proceed with the physical inspection following DHS guidance.