The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its first proposed rule on the Optional Alternatives to the Physical Document Examination Associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9). The proposed rule, published in the Federal Register last week, does not yet include a detailed plan for virtual inspection of Form I-9. Instead, the proposed rule would “formalize the authority for the Secretary to extend flexibilities, provide alternative options or conduct a pilot program to further evaluate an alternative procedure.” This proposal formalizes the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to extend certain COVID-19 rules permitting remote inspection of employee documents and further explores alternative options to physical document examination procedures going forward, especially in light of the increased levels of remote and hybrid work schedules since COVID-19. The public comment period on this proposed rule (Docket No. ICEB-2021-0010) will be open until October 17 on the Federal eRulemaking Portal: