DHS Ends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued temporary Form I-9 flexibilities. Those flexibilities will end on July 31, 2023, and employers have until August 30, 2023, to become compliant. 

What were the temporary flexibilities:

  • Employers were allowed to temporarily defer the physical examination of employees’ identity and employment authorization documents. 
  • Employers could examine the employees’ documents remotely (via, video meeting, fax, or email) and enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical examination delay in Section 2, “Additional Information.” 
  • More recently, as employers sought to bring employees back to the work environment, the Form I-9 flexibilities allowed employers to continue to use remote I-9 verification until:
    •  Employees began non-remote employment on a “regular, consistent, or predictable basis,” 


  • Until the flexibilities expire on July 31, 2023 – whichever is earlier.
    • Once one of these two thresholds were met, the employer would be required to conduct an in-person, physical examination of the employees’ identity and employment authorization documents within 72 hours (3 business days).

What do employers need to do now?

  • Employers must resume pre-Covid-19 protocols and perform the required physical examinations of identity and employment eligibility documents for those hired on or after March 20, 2020. This applies to individuals who only received the examination of a virtual or remote document. 

Who should perform the inspection?

  • If possible, the person who performed the initial remote inspection should also perform the physical inspection. That person should indicate the date they physically examined the documents and then add their initials in the Additional Information field. 
  • Example:

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  • If it is not possible for the same person to physically inspect the documentation, a new authorized representative should be identified. The new representative should physically examine the documents and then complete the Additional Information field with the date they physically examined the documents and then add their initials in the Additional Information field. 
  • Example:

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How do employers perform the inspection of documents?

  • For each individual hired on or after March 20, 2023, an authorized representative for your ministry must physically inspect physical documents the employee provided at time of hire. If those documents are expired, the employee must present a valid form of identification. 
  • Upon completion of the physically inspection of the documents, the employer should add “documents physically examined” with the date of inspection to the Section 2 additional information field on the Form I-9, or to section 3 as appropriate (see section above for examples).

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