October 26, 2021

US CIS Ponders Permanent Extension of Form I-9 Flex Rule

The September edition of this newsletter reported that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) announced it was extending the Form-I-9 Flexibility yet again.  That extension is set to expire December 31st.

Quick recap: The Flexibility Rule enables employers to accept copies of documents that verify a new employee’s identity and authorization to work in the U.S., rather than requiring in-person review of original documents. This rule relaxed the latter standard in light of COVID-19 and so many new hires working remotely.

On October 26th, CIS announced that it was considering “alternative options to physical document inspection.” CIS seeks employers’ comments, including from small businesses. The deadline for commenting expires December 27th.

There are at least five (5) questions that refer to the possibility of making the rule permanent. In addition, a few other questions for which CIS seeks your input are:

  • Did you use remote document examination at any time since the rule was first published March 20, 2020? Why or why not?
  • If you did, what were your experiences?
  • What were the burdens and benefits on you and your employees?


Click here to submit your comments by the December 27th deadline.