Remote Inspection of I-9 Documents Now Permitted in Limited Circumstances During Coronavirus Emergency


Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that effective immediately, “employers taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19” will be temporarily allowed to review new employees’ “section 2” documents remotely when completing I-9 Forms.

This can include, for example, reviewing the documents via web camera or emailed images. This relaxes long-standing policy that ordinarily requires a physical, in-person inspection.

Bear in mind, however, that: The flexibility is only available when because of COVID-19 arrangements specifically, there are no employees physically present at what would otherwise be the employee’s work location; and

An employer that uses this option must provide written documentation of its “remote on boarding and telework policy for each employee.”

The employer should still retain copies of the remotely-inspected documents – e.g., the photos, still frames from the video, etc.; and

In the section 2 “additional comments” field of the form, the employer should note the delay in physical inspection and give “COVID-19” as the reason;

Once the employer resumes normal operations, it must physically examine the documents, in person, within three business days, and make a notation of this on the I-9 Form, including the date on which it was done; and

This flexibility will last until the earlier of (a) May 19th, 2020, or (b) the third business day following “the termination of the National Emergency.”

If you would like assistance with an immigration and nationality law issue or to learn how the COVID-19 pandemic potentially may affect your immigration status, NPZ Law Group, P.C. is here to help you, your family, friends, and business associates.

About The Author

Nachman, Phulwani, Zimovcak (NPZ) Law Group, P.C. At NPZ Law Group, we are business immigration lawyers who understand that success in today's global marketplace requires a skilled and mobile workforce. We provide our business clients with the legal assistance they require in immigration matters to help them meet their business goals while complying with applicable immigration laws and regulations. We invite you to visit us on the web at or to email us at or to call us at 201.670.0006 for a consultation.

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