USCIS seeks public input on remote preparation of I-9 forms – employment and HR


United States: USCIS seeks public input on remote preparation of I-9 forms

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At the start of the COVID pandemic, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) responded quickly employer concerns about how to comply with the requirement to personally review supporting documentation for Form I-9. Because this form must be completed within three days of the first day of employment, compliance was not possible when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended social distancing and work protocols to domicile have been established. This flexibility has been extended several times, allowing employers to review documents electronically, coupled with the responsibility to complete the physical examination when offices reopen. This presents a number of difficult issues not envisioned in March 2020, as offices return to work in stages and experiment with more flexible work-from-home policies.

In light of these workplace changes, USCIS announced on October 25, 2021 that it was seeking employer feedback on distance certification and how regulations could be changed to allow more flexibility. This request was explained in an email sent to stakeholders:

Today, DHS issued a Request for Public Contribution (RPI) to the Federal Register to solicit feedback on employer and employee experiences with this process and to examine the impacts of the remote document review conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. We invite comments from all interested parties, including employer and employee groups such as professional groups or associations, recruiting and referral organizations, organizations specializing in employee integration, employees, researchers and policy experts. In particular, DHS seeks to understand the potential costs and benefits of the possibility of future remote document review flexibilities.

Employers may submit comments with reference to file number USCIS-2021-0022, via Regulations.gov. All written comments are requested by December 27, 2021.

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