Recognizing the continued need for flexibility with remote work arrangements, the U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has proposed a new rule allowing for the option of remote examination of I-9 documentation. ICE said that following advances in technology and new work arrangements brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it will explore “alternative options, including making permanent some of the current COVID-19 pandemic-related flexibilities to examine employees’ identity and employment authorization documents for the Form I-9.” The current temporary I-9 flexibility is only for employers working remotely. The new ICE rule will not automatically create new flexibilities like permanent remote review, but will allow the government to "extend flexibilities, provide alternative options, or conduct a pilot program to further evaluate an alternative procedure option for some or all employers." The proposed rule is open for comments until Oct. 18, 2022, at https://www.regulations.gov. In a similar note, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services just announced that its temporary COVID-19 policy of allowing scanned, faxed or photocopied signatures would now become permanent. While original (i.e. “wet”) signatures are still required on immigration applications, they may be filed with copies of such signatures.
Lewis M. Francis specializes in providing business and employment-based immigration solutions for a global marketplace. Mr. Francis is experienced in obtaining the necessary business immigration visas for specialized temporary employees, including those qualifying for H-1B, E-3, TN, O-1 or L-1A and L-1Bs. He has considerable experience securing U.S. permanent residency (green card applications) for immigrant workers, including through PERM Labor Certification in the EB-2 and EB-3 classifications as well direct applications in the EB-1, Multinational Executive/Manager and National Interest Waiver categories.