All U.S. employers must complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification entirely within three business days of every employee’s date of hire. They must maintain I-9 records for all employees so that those records are available for immigration officials and other federal authorities. As Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) increasingly has been auditing employers in recent years, employers must have the required paperwork filled out and available for review. The fines for an I-9 form violation can be steep, ranging from $110 to $1,100 per error, employers cannot afford to be unaware of their responsibilities when it comes to completing and maintaining I-9 forms.
Some of the most common mistakes that employers make concerning I-9 forms include failing to:
- Have the employer and employee sign and date the form
- Fill out Section 1 on the employee’s first day of work and Section 2 within three business days of the hire date
- Properly examine and match the original identifying documents provided by the employee
- Keep track of the employee’s work authorization expiration date and reverify the employment authorization on or before that expiration date
Employers also often fail to apply their photocopying policy concerning verifying documents consistently. Although the law does not require that employers make and maintain photocopies of the verifying documents that employees must produce to complete the I-9, if the employers choose to do so, they must do so uniformly for all employees. They also must keep the photocopies of the verification documents stored with each I-9 form.
Finally, employees and employers must take care to fill in all blanks on the I-9 form. Any missed signatures, dates, or checked boxes can result in a violation of the laws concerning I-9 forms, which can lead to substantial fines.
The immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the immigration cases of countless individuals and businesses facing immigration-related issues. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the outcome that you are seeking. Call our office today at (512) 474-4445 to set up an appointment with our immigration attorneys.