On July 18, 2020, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced another 30-day extension of its prior guidance relaxing the in-person verification requirements of Form I-9 for employers operating remotely due to COVID-19. The expiration date for these accommodations is now Aug. 19, 2020.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE previously announced they would allow employers who are operating remotely 100% to defer the physical presence requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) beginning March 20, 2020. Employers also have the option to designate an authorized representative to complete Form I-9 on their behalf. See the original Inside Business Immigration blog post for more information.

This flexibility only applies to employers operating 100% remotely in light of COVID-19. However, 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.

ICE has ended the extension policy related to notices of inspection (NOIs) served on employers during the month of March 2020. Previously, employers on which ICE served NOIs during the month of March 2020 were granted an additional 30-day extension to respond to such NOIs. After July 19, 2020, no additional extensions will be granted to employers who were served NOIs in March 2020.

Going forward, DHS will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance. Employers are required to monitor the DHS and ICE websites for additional updates regarding when the extensions will be terminated and normal operations will resume.