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COVID-related I-9 verification flexibility will end on July 31, and employers have until Aug. 30 to personally inspect identity and employment documents that had only been checked virtually during the pandemic. 

Although I-9 verification flexibility allowing virtual inspections has been extended numerous times during the past three years, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says the new July 31 deadline is firm. As of that date, employers must inspect I-9 documents in person for all new hires. 

Businesses with existing employees hired after March 20, 2020, whose I-9 documents previously only underwent a virtual inspection, should begin gathering a list of affected workers now and designate an authorized representative to inspect employment documents in-person. The employer has the option to outsource this role to a law firm, notary or anyone who can legally offer this service. 

NJBIA’s HR Support Center says given that employers are liable for any violations that occur in connection with the verification process, they should consider having someone on their HR team remotely oversee the in-person inspection process occurring at other company locations. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has provided a useful FAQ as well as instructions on how to notate the Form I-9 when inspected in-person after originally being inspected virtually.  

Learn more here in the Law Alerts section of the NJBIA HR Support Center, powered by Mineral. NJBIA members must log into their NJBIA account with their username and password to take advantage of this free service.