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Employers and employees alike need to stay informed about changing regulations that impact the hiring process and employment eligibility verification. In a recent development, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the conclusion of the temporary flexibilities for Form I-9 documentation.

In response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the DHS implemented temporary measures to accommodate remote work and facilitate the completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. These flexibilities allowed employers to inspect and verify employee documents virtually or through alternative means. However, with the situation improving and in-person operations resuming, the DHS has decided to phase out these temporary measures.

Effective August 31, 2023, employers must return to standard practices for completing and verifying Form I-9. This means that all employees hired during the period of remote work or alternative document verification must present their original physical documents for inspection by August 30, 2023.

Key Points to Consider About Form I-9 Flexibilities Ending:

  1. Physical Document Inspection: Employers must ensure that all employees hired under the temporary flexibilities present their original documents for in-person inspection by August 30, 2023. This includes Section 2 or Section 3 reverifications, as applicable.

  2. Remote Employee Considerations: If employees who were hired remotely are unable to present their original documents in person due to continued remote work or other exceptional circumstances, employers must follow the established guidance outlined in the M-274 Handbook for Employers.

  3. Penalties for Non-Compliance: Failure to comply with the Form I-9 requirements may result in penalties for employers, including fines and potential legal consequences. It is crucial to ensure the timely and accurate completion of the Form I-9 process.

As the temporary flexibilities for Form I-9 documentation come to an end, employers must prepare to revert to standard document verification procedures by August 30, 2023. Compliance with these requirements is crucial to avoid penalties and maintain a legally compliant workforce. Stay informed about the official guidelines provided by the DHS and ensure a smooth transition back to standard Form I-9 practices.


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