ICE announces extension to employment compliance flexibility for Caribbean nationals

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency has announced an extension of the flexibilities in rules related to with the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) compliance for Caribbean and other nationals that was initially granted last year.

Due to the continued precautions related to COVID-19, ICE said the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will extend this policy until April 30, 2022. 

“This extension will continue to apply the guidance previously issued for employees hired on or after April 1, 2021, and work exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19-related precautions,” ICE said. 

“Those employees are temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Employment Eligibility Verification until they undertake non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier,” ICE added. 

On Mar. 20, 2020, due to precautions implemented by employers and employees associated with COVID-19, DHS announced that it would exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Form I-9 under section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

“This policy only applies to employers and workplaces that are operating remotely,” ICE said. “If there are employees physically present at a work location, no exceptions are being implemented at this time for in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.”

The initial flexibility announcement, issued on March 20, 2020, noted that DHS will evaluate certain COVID-19 related Form I-9 completion practices on a case-by-case basis as they relate to the physical inspection of Form I-9 documentation. 

“Going forward DHS will continue to monitor the ongoing national emergency and provide updated guidance as needed,” ICE said.

More from Around NYC