DHS Rescinds COVID-19 Pandemic Related I-9 Policy Change
The Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) announced the end of a COVID-19 related temporary policy change regarding acceptable documents during the I-9 process for administration of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s prohibition against employment of unauthorized foreign nationals.
Federal law requires employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all newly hired employees in the United States. In the first three days of employment, employees present identity and employment authorization documents to their new employer. The employer records the examination of these documents on Form I-9. The documents must be valid and unexpired at the time of presentation. However, on May 1, 2020, in response to the difficulty of renewing identity documents, DHS permitted employers to accept expired I-9 List B identity documents as evidence of identity.
Beginning May 1, 2022, employers may no longer accept expired List B identity documents, such as a driver’s licenses or state-issued identification cards, in the onboarding process. Additionally, employers must have any employees who presented expired List B documents between May 1, 2020 and April 30, 2022 revalidate their I-9 form and present an unexpired identity document. Employees may present a valid unexpired document, a different valid List B document, or a List A document, such as a US passport or permanent (green) card. No action is required for individuals who are no longer employed on May 1, 2022.
Employers should review I-9s of employees hired in the past two years to look for expired identity documents, and obtain valid replacement identity documents.
Contact your favorite CDF employment attorney for assistance with this or other DHS temporary changes that may be coming.