USCIS announced a temporary policy for List B identity documents used in the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. The agency noted that employees may experience challenges in renewing state driver’s licenses, state ID cards, or other List B documents due to stay-at-home orders and restrictions on renewal services. As of May 1, 2020, identity documents in List B with expiration dates on or after March 1, 2020, and not otherwise extended by the issuing authority “may be treated the same as if the employee presented a valid receipt for an acceptable document for Form I-9 purposes.”

This follows an announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it will exercise discretion to defer the I-9 physical presence requirements. Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence. However, employers must inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax or email) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents within three business days for purposes of completing Section 2.

These provisions may be implemented by employers for a period of 60 days from the date of the March 20, 2020, notice or within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first. Employers who avail themselves of this option must provide written documentation of their remote onboarding and telework policy for each employee.

Further details on these policies can be found in USCIS’s Q&A re: temporary policies for I-9 and E-Verify.  If you have any questions about these temporary policies, please contact your Chin & Curtis Attorney.