U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued guidance on September 5, 2023, regarding I-9 and E-Verify compliance requirements in light of the 2023 Hawaii wildfires, regarding the potential loss or destruction of affected employees’ documentation. All employment eligibility verification requirements remain in effect for areas impacted by the wildfires and there have been no exceptions made for employers seeking to onboard or re-verify affected employees. Individuals whose documentation was lost or damaged should immediately apply for replacement documentation. Employers may accept receipt for the replacement request to complete I-9 verification for the first 90 days of employment. The employee should follow up with the replacement document or other acceptable documentation within 90 days from the first date of employment to complete the verification. Employers whose I-9 records have been lost or destroyed because of the wildfires must recreate new I-9 forms for current employees, with an annotation stating: “Original Form I-9 destroyed in 2023 Hawaii wildfire; replacement created MM/DD/YYYY.” 

Employees whose immigration documents or processes are impacted by the wildfires should seek relief through USCIS’ Immigration Relief in Emergencies or Unforeseen Circumstances program.

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