Immigration and Customs Enforcement worksite investigation into I-9 compliance can occur at any time. Avoid costly fines that can negatively affect your bottom line.
Federal law requires all U.S. employers, regardless of size, to complete a Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) within 3 days of hire for every new W-2 employee regardless of status (full-time, part-time, seasonal). The form verifies eligibility for an employee to lawfully work in the U.S.
On the form, an employee must attest to his or her employment authorization. The employee must also present his or her employer with acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and record the document information on the Form I-9.
Changes to streamline the form are coming. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) advises employers to continue using the current Form I-9 version after its expiration date of October 31, 2022 until further notice. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will publish a Federal Register notice to announce the new version once it becomes available. It is recommended to use the most recent form version posted on the USCIS website.
Common Form I-9 Questions
What if a mistake is made completing the form? Do not use white out or correction tape. Cross through mistake, date and initial.
How do I physically examine the documents required to complete the I-9 if my workforce is remote (i.e. passport, drivers license, etc.)? Due to COVID, DHS allowed an exception for employers to examine the documents virtually (webcast, copy, etc.) if the employee is primarily remote. The current exception expires October 31, 2022. No determination on the rule after this date has been announced.
Where should the form be sent?: Do not file Form I-9 with USCIS or U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Employers must:
Have a completed Form I-9 on file for each person on their payroll who is required to complete the form.
It is recommended keeping all Form I-9's together in one file or location separate from personnel files in case of an audit.
Make the forms available for inspection if requested by authorized U.S. government officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice.
Retain and store Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire, or for one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later.
Employers can face substantial penalties for Form I-9 violations that include fines and being disqualified from government contracts. Violations can include hiring unauthorized workers, improper completion of the form, and errors. Ensure that all personnel involved in the hiring process know and comply with the proper procedures for completing the Form I-9 to protect your business and reputation.
Koppinger & Associates helps you navigate the complicated world of compliance.
Call us for solutions that take away the worry of compliance, allowing you to focus on running your business.