Form I-9 and E-Verify Guidance for Those Affected by Emergencies and Unforeseen Circumstances
All Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements remain in effect for areas affected by emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, such as natural catastrophes (hurricanes, wildfires, severe weather, etc.), and national emergencies (public health emergencies, etc.). Employers must continue to complete and retain Form I-9 for all their new hires and complete reverification for current employees when required. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will monitor situations as they occur and provide updated guidance as needed.
Employees whose documents were lost, stolen, or damaged should refer to the complete lists of acceptable documents for Form I-9 to determine if they have other documentation they could present for Form I-9 completion.
Employees may present an acceptable receipt to show they have applied to replace a lost, stolen or damaged List A, B or C document.
- The receipt is valid for 90 days from the date of hire or, for reverification, 90 days from the date employment authorization expires.
- At the end of the receipt period, employees must present the actual replacement document or other Form I-9 documentation from the Lists of Acceptable Documents.
Employees affected by an emergency or unforeseen circumstance who need to replace lost, stolen or damaged DHS-issued documents should visit Immigration Relief in Emergencies or Unforeseen Circumstances for information.
When an Employee’s Documents Are Lost, Stolen or Damaged
New employees or current employees who require reverification of documentation that was lost, stolen or damaged may present a receipt showing they have applied for a replacement document. A receipt fulfills the verification requirements of the List A, B or C document for which the receipt was issued and is valid for 90 days from the first day of employment or, for reverification, 90 days from the date the original employment authorization expired. Employees who cannot present the actual replacement document for which the receipt was issued by the end of the 90-day receipt period may choose to present different documentation from the Lists of Acceptable Documents. Receipts are not acceptable if employment lasts fewer than three business days. See Section 4.4, Acceptable Receipts, of the M-274, Handbook for Employers, for additional information.
When a Form I-9 is Lost, Damaged or Destroyed
Employers must complete a new Form I-9 for each current employee if the employee’s original Form I-9 was damaged or destroyed by an unforeseen circumstance. Employers must annotate in the Additional Information field or attach a signed and dated written explanation why they created a replacement Form I-9. For example, “Original Form I-9 destroyed in (name and year of natural disaster or emergency).”
E-Verify remains available to employers affected by emergencies and unforeseen circumstances. If you have any questions or issues, please contact E-Verify Customer Support.
If the employee presents a receipt showing that they have applied to replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged, employers must wait to create a case in E-Verify until the employee presents the replacement document for which the receipt was presented (or other acceptable documentation, if the employee cannot present the actual replacement document). If employers are unable to create a case within three business days of the first day of employment, E-Verify will prompt them to enter the reason for the delay. They should select “Other” and type “Receipt provided. Awaiting actual document” in the field provided.
If an employer is completing a new Form I-9 because the original Form I-9 was lost, damaged, or destroyed, the employer should not create a new E-Verify case.
See more information on how to create an E-Verify case.