This is a form used for verifying the identity and employment eligibility of all the individuals hired for work in the US. All US employers must complete and retain this form for the individuals they hire.
Form I-9 is a 2-page document with 102-page instructions. So, do not take this lightly.
Employers who enroll for E-verify services should verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching the information in the Form I-9, against the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records.
But, E-verify is not a replacement for Form I-9.
Here are a few of the common mistakes employers/ employees commit while completing the form:
During an ICE audit, the audit officer inspects Form I-9s to ensure compliance. Any violations that are found during the inspection are categorized as substantive or technical violations. The audit officer gives 10 business days for the correction of any technical violations, while the substantive violations result in monetary fines.
The fines for these violations start from $230 and can go up to $2,292 per I-9.
Hefty penalties imposed by ICE are majorly due to the substantive violations. The key factor in avoiding these penalties is by conducting an I-9 internal audit and having an executable I-9 policy.
Does your organization conduct an internal audit? Does your organization have an I-9 policy?
ICE audit is a random inspection conducted by Immigration & Customs Enforcement office that is initiated by a Notice Of Inspection (NOI) and the employers are provided 3 business days to produce the Form I-9s. Upon the completion of the inspection, ICE will notify the organization with any one of the following notices: Notice of Suspect Documents, Notice of Discrepancies, Notice of Technical or Procedural Failures, Warning Notice, Notice of Intent to Fine (NIF)
Internal I-9 audit is a key factor in ensuring compliance. Employers can conduct internal I-9 audit through the ICE guidelines. These audits provide a chance for the employers to review the forms and reveal errors (if any) that are present in the Form I-9 and hence help employers in making the necessary corrections and recording these corrections in an Audit note which stays with the I-9 that was corrected. This prepares you for any Notice of Inspection from ICE. Conducting an internal I-9 audit at least once a year will lower the penalties at a significant rate.
As internal audits are of high importance, it is recommended to take the advice of a third party expert for conducting an internal audit. We would encourage you to contact OnBlick I-9 audit services for any assistance with I-9 audit.