UPDATED! What Employers Need to Know: E-Verify & I-9 Requirements

Posted by Tonya Fletcher SPHR, SHRM-SCP on Mar 25, 2020 11:47:00 AM
Tonya Fletcher SPHR, SHRM-SCP
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Our goal is to keep you informed of changes associated with the coronavirus that will impact you as an employer.

Read on to learn about recent changes to E-Verify and I-9 Requirements.

NEW! MAY 19, 2020

Form I-9 Requirements Flexibility Extended for 30 Days

In March, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.

This temporary guidance was set to expire May 19. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended this policy for an additional 30 days. This provision only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely.


POSTED MAY 5, 2020

Temporary Policy for List B Identity Documents

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced another temporary policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously announced was, that if a driver’s license or state ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the state has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, employers should enter the document’s expiration date in Section 2 under List B and enter, “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information field. This remains the same.

What’s new is that if the state has not extended the expiration date, or maybe the extension has run out, employers may now treat these expired identity documents as receipts. In these cases, the employer should:

  1. Record the document information and write “COVID-19” in the additional information field
  2. Ask for a replacement document from the employee within 90 days after DHS terminates the temporary policy
  3. Enter the replacement document information in Section 2 and initial/date the change

If necessary, the employee may choose to present a different List A or List B document, and the employer would record the new document information in the Additional Information field.

New Form I-9 Mandatory May 1st

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is the part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that oversees US citizenship and immigration, published the new Form I-9 at the end of January. Effective May 1, 2020, employers can only use the new version. 

A new Form I-9 is never required for existing employees.

USCIS just released a revised M-274, Handbook for Employers: Guidance for Completing Form I-9,  with expanded information on properly completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.



Driver's License and State ID Extension

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in many states have closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, many states are automatically extending qualifying driver's licenses and state IDs. Eligibility for an extension and the extension period varies by state. If the driver's license or state ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and the state has extended the document expiration date due to COVID-19, then it is an acceptable List B (proof of identity) document for the Form I-9.

If an employee's state ID or driver's license is expired on its face but automatically extended by their state due to COVID-19, employers should enter the document's expiration date in Section 2 and enter "COVID-19 EXT" in the additional information field. Employers may also include a notice about the extension or a copy of the state DMV webpage.

Employers can confirm that their state has auto-extended the expiration date of state IDs and driver's licenses by checking the state Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Motor Vehicle's website.

Questions and answers related to temporary policies for Form I-9 and E-Verify can be found here.



E-Verify Extends Timeframes

E-Verify is extending the timeframe to take action to resolve the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) in limited circumstances when an employee cannot resolve a TNC due to public or private office closures. You must notify the employee about their TNC result as soon as possible. Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in interim case status.

DHS Announces Flexibility in I-9 Requirements

The DHS has announced that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9. Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review documents in the employee’s physical presence.

Employers must inspect the documents remotely (email, fax, video link, etc.) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents within three business days. Employers should also enter COVID-19 as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the additional information field in Section 2 once physical inspection takes place after normal operations resume. Once the documents have been inspected, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field or Section 3 as appropriate.

These provisions may be implemented for a period of 60 days from the DHS notice or within three business days after the termination of the national emergency, whichever comes first. This provision applies only to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. Employers that avail themselves of this option must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy.


Tonya Fletcher SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Written by Tonya Fletcher SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tonya is the Labor Compliance Manager at FrankCrum. In this role, she leads the FrankAdvice team and manages the delivery and content of best practice information to client owners and managers regarding all types of employment related topics. When she’s not at work, Tonya enjoys international travel.

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