On August 18, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a rule to allow for alternative document verification procedures for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. The proposed rule would create a framework under which the Secretary of Homeland Security could authorize alternative options for document examination procedures for some or all employers.
According to the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), such procedures could be implemented as part of a pilot program; upon the Secretary’s determination that such procedures offer an equivalent level of security; or as a temporary measure to address a public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services under the Public Health Service Act, or a national emergency declared by the President under the National Emergencies Act.
The NPRM notes that in light of advances in technology and remote work arrangements, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is exploring alternative options, including making permanent some of the COVID-19 pandemic-related flexibilities to examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents for the Form I–9. The rule would not create such alternatives but would instead formalize the authority for the DHS Secretary “to extend flexibilities, provide alternative options, or conduct a pilot program to further evaluate an alternative procedure option (in addition to the procedures set forth in regulations) for some or all employers, regardless of whether their employees physically report to work at a company location.” DHS said it would introduce any such alternative procedure in a future Federal Register notice.