Temporary I-9 Provision

On March 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that it will defer the physical presence requirements associated with reviewing Form I-9 documents for employers and workplaces operating remotely. Employers with employees who are taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the identity and employment authorization documents in-person. However, employers must still inspect the Section 2 documents remotely (e.g., over video link, fax, or protected email) and obtain, inspect, and retain copies of the documents, within three business days from date of hire. Employers should also enter “COVID-19” as the reason for the physical inspection delay in the ‘Additional Information’ field. Once normal operations resume, units will need to send their employees, who were onboarded using this temporary provision, to the Payroll Office for an in-person review of the identity and employment authorization documents they used to complete Section 2 of Form I-9. This must be done within the first three business days of resuming normal operations.

This process may be used for 60 days from March 20, 2020 or within 3 business days after the termination of the National Emergency, whichever comes first. 

Remote review is not allowed if a new employee is required to physically come into the workplace. This temporary provision can only be used for new employees who cannot come to campus due to COVID-19. 

Departments with new hires who are remotely onboarding are to complete Form I-9 as follows: 

  1. Department emails the new employee a link to the university’s remote hire webpage and the Form I-9. This can be done as soon as they have accepted the job offer.
  2. Employee completes Section 1 of Form I-9 on or before their first day of work.
  3. Employee identifies documents that establish their identity and eligibility to work in the U.S. from the List of Acceptable Documents on Form I-9. The employee is to make a legible copy, scan or photo of the documents, front and back.
  4. Employee then faxes or uses a protected email to send the Form I-9 and the copies of supporting documents to the department.
  5. Upon receipt, and within three days of the employee’s first day of work, the department is to inspect Section 1 of the form and the provided document(s), and then complete Section 2 of the form. If possible, in the ‘Additional Information' field, enter “COVID-19” to note the reason for the delay in physical inspection of the documents. Payroll has pre-filled “COVID-19” on the Form I-9 available on this webpage.
  6. The department submits the Form I-9 and copies of the supporting documents to the Payroll Office.
  7. Once normal operations resume, and no later than three business days from that date, the employee must bring the same documents into the Payroll Office so they can be reviewed in-person. Missing signatures must be completed at this point as well.

Signatures 

  • If the employee is unable to sign Section 1 of the Form I-9, send an email to them with the following attestation, instructing them to respond with a “YES” if it’s true. A copy of that email will need to be included with the Form I-9 and it’s supporting documents when they are submitted to the Payroll Office. The employee will be asked to sign Section 1 when they come to the Payroll Office for an in-person review of their documents.
  • If the department is unable to sign Section 2 of the Form I-9, leave it blank. The Payroll Office representative will sign Section 2 when they review the documents in-person. 

Methods for Reviewing Form I-9 and Documents Remotely 

  • Video (e.g., Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc…)
  • Fax (541-346-1109)
  • Email – Only if the attachments are password protected. We still need to protect our employees’ sensitive information. 

Methods for submitting Form I-9 and Documents to Payroll Office 

  • Campus Mail (Thompson University Center – Payroll)
  • U.S. Mail (PO Box 3237, Eugene OR 97403)
  • Fax (541-346-1109)
  • Drop box on first floor of Thompson University (720 E. 13th Ave. Eugene OR)
    • The TUC lobby is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 8:00 – 11:00am.
  • Email – Only if the attachments are password protected. We still need to protect our employees’ sensitive information. 

 

Additional Resources 

Form I-9 COVID-19

USCIS FAQ’s about temporary provision

UO’s Remote Hire Procedures

HR’s COVID-19 info for employees