October 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 293

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October 19, 2021

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ICE: I-9 Flexibility to Continue Through 2021

Once again, at the last moment, ICE has extended “flexibility” for I-9 employment verification. This time, for four more months, until the end of the year, December 31, 2021, due to continuing COVID-19 precautions.

Employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, who work exclusively in a remote setting are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. This flexibility allows employers to continue to inspect I-9 documents virtually, over video link, or by fax or email. Flexibility will continue until an employee undertakes non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or until the policy is terminated. ICE reiterated that flexibility applies only to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely. If employees are physically present at a work location, flexibility does not apply.

This four-month extension is helpful because many companies have not been able to return to in-office employment on a consistent basis. Nevertheless, it is important to be prepared for the end of the flexibility program by:

  • Keeping track of employees who have been verified virtually, when they will be returning to work, and the deadline for in-person verification; and

  • Identifying and training staff to conduct the necessary in-person reviews.

Flexibility has been in effect since March 2020. Perhaps ICE will decide to adopt flexibility permanently. But, if not, hopefully DHS and ICE will provide sufficient notice of the end of the policy.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 244
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About this Author

Amy L. Peck, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Worksite Compliance Lawyer
Principal

Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

(402) 391-1991
Michael H. Neifach Jackson Lewis Employment visa Lawyer border security matters attorney
Principal

Michael Neifach is a Principal in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He is a recognized leader on immigration, visa and border security matters, and he is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Mr. Neifach has held senior positions at the White House Homeland Security Council, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). He served as General Counsel at ICE from July 2007 through January 2009. Following his government service, Mr. Neifach oversaw...

(703) 483-8300
Otieno B. Ombok, Jackson Lewis, I9 Compliance Lawyer, immigrant visa petitions Attorney
Principal

Otieno B. Ombok is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C.

Mr. Ombok specializes in all aspects of employment-based non-immigration and immigrant visa petitions. He also advises on I-9 compliance issues as well as outbound immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues such advises both U.S. and foreign employers with regard to immigration matters. He has a natural facility in addressing client issues pertaining to healthcare visas for medical professionals,...

914-328-0404
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