U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is proposing creating a framework under which the Secretary of Homeland Security could authorize alternative options for document examination procedures associated with the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The notice of proposed rulemaking is seeking input from the public regarding making permanent some of the current COVID-19 pandemic-related flexibilities to examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents for the Form I-9.
Although this proposed rule does not create such alternatives, it would formalize the authority for the Secretary to extend flexibilities, provide alternative options, or conduct a pilot program to evaluate an alternative procedure option. Starting on March 20, 2020, because of the physical proximity precautions implemented by employers combating the COVID-19 pandemic, deferral of the physical examination requirements associated with the Form I-9 were announced, which extended periodically as the national emergency continued.
Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 60 days from the publication date of the proposed rule. Comments on the entirety of this proposed rule, identified by Docket No. ICEB-2021-0010, can be submitted via the Federal eRulemaking Portal. The website contains additional instructions for submitting comments.