Payroll Briefs

DHS Announces Another Extension in Form I-9 Temporary Requirements

October 14, 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced another postponement of Form I-9 temporary requirements through its U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These temporary requirements gave way to a great deal of flexibility for the physical presence requirements that accompany the Form I-9 as the country continues to navigate the COVID-19 crisis. DM Payroll Solutions explores the extension and what employers should know about Form I-9 reporting moving forward.

Background on the Temporary Requirements

The temporary requirements were originally implemented in Mar. 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 health crisis and the inability of many companies to safely work in-person. Since then, there have been five extensions of the regulations to allow for much-needed flexibility in the ever-changing workspace. The extension only applies to businesses that are operating remotely and the new expiration date is currently slated for Nov. 19, 2020.

USCIS Announces Additional Delays

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on Sept. 23, 2020, the issuance of Forms I-766 (Employment Authorization Document (EAD)) may also be delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis. For an employee waiting for their EAD to complete a new Form I-9, they must present Form I-797 (Notice of Action) as a List C document. The same goes for employees who require reverification. DHS is responsible for issuing Form I-797 which establishes eligibility despite the fact the notice states it is not evidence of employment authorization.

In order to be considered acceptable, the notice must have a date between Dec. 1, 2019, and Aug. 20, 2020. It must also indicate that USCIS has approved the employee’s Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization). New and existing employees alike may use this notice to supplement their Form I-9 until Dec. 1, 2020. New employees must also furnish an appropriate List-B document. Employers have until Dec. 1, 2020, to reverify employees using the notice as a List C document. After, employees will be required to issue new evidence of employment authorization, which includes a new EAD or other supplementing document from either List A or List C.

Future Extensions?

As the pandemic continues to play out, there is opportunity for more extensions in Form I-9 temporary requirements. DHS has stated they will continue to report updated guidance as necessary as the country navigates through the pandemic. DM Payroll Solutions will work to keep you updated.