By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the USCIS posted examples of Forms I-9 that were correctly annotated for when remotely inspecting employment authorization and identity documents, and subsequently performing the required physical inspection once normal operations resume. See USCIS has provided seven examples to assist with Form I-9 documentation that one may complete in the future related to remote inspection, physical inspection, or List B policies related to COVID-19. In providing these helpful examples (yes, I actually complimented DHS and USCIS), USCIS noted one is not required to update your Forms I-9 based on these examples if there are differences.

As a reminder, DHS has set forth a temporary policy through July 18, 2020, that will defer the requirements for employers to review Form I-9 documents in-person with new employees where employers and workplaces are operating remotely due to COVID-19. Instead, employers may inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email). Employers should enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the Section 2 “Additional Information” field. See my prior article -

Once normal operations resume, all employees who were onboarded using remote verification, must report to their employer within 3 business days for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9. Once the documents have been physically inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 “Additional Information” field on the Form I-9, or to Section 3 as appropriate.
Additionally, DHS announced a temporary change in the acceptance of List B identity documents during the I-9 verification process. Beginning on May 1, identity documents found in List B which are set to expire on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority, may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes. See my prior article -

If you are concerned about your company’s immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, available at