Payroll Briefs

Date to Physically Check Form I-9 Documents Extended to August 30

June 20, 2023

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced employers will have until Aug. 30, 2023, to come into compliance with Form I-9 requirements. This comes after the end of the flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 pandemic, which officially end on July 31, 2023.  


In March 2020, ICE announced it would defer the requirement that employers review employees’ identity and employment authorization documents in the employees’ physical presence. Instead, allowing the review to occur remotely, with the expectation that physical inspection would occur within three business days after normal operations resumed.  

In follow-up guidance, ICE noted employers could continue to implement the flexible policy until the affected employees returned to non-remote employment on a regular, consistent or predictable basis. This also would apply if the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever comes first. In October 2022, DHS and ICE announced the flexible policy would be extended until July 31, 2023. May’s announcement provides clarity for employers that they have until August 30, to complete all physical examination of employees’ documents.  

Moving Forward 

DHS encourages employers that have been leveraging these temporary flexibilities to plan ahead to ensure all required physical inspection of identity and employment eligibility documents for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is completed by Aug. 30, 2023. Employers are required to complete a physical document examination for all individuals hired on or after March 20, 2020, who only had a remote document examination.  

What to Do on Form I-9 

Employers that examined employees’ documents remotely should have entered “COVID-19” in the section 2 “Additional Information” field on Form I-9 as the reason for the delay in physical examination. An employer must obtain, inspect and retain copies of the employees’ documents and add “documents physically examined” along with the examination date to the section 2 “Additional Information” field or in section 3.  

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