Employment Verification & Form I9 Compliance
Call (954) 566-2606 : We are experienced immigration lawyers that help businesses with employment verification.
The U.S. government is very strict about immigration laws and takes regular steps to reduce and eliminate the number of illegal immigrant workers in the country. Therefore, if your business is facing an I-9 audit, an experienced employment verification lawyer can help protect your interests. We advise foreign nationals and businesses with all aspects of completing the I-9 employment verification forms, and ensuring form I9 compliance with the immigration laws.
What To Expect From AN I9 Compliance Audit?
The I-9 form is a Department of Homeland Security form used for verification of the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the US. Starting November 6, 1986, employers in the U.S. must complete the I-9 form for each employee. From 1996, the federal government allowed the use of a project called E-verify to determine employee’s eligibility by comparing information reported on I-9 form to the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration and databases.
Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (“IRCA”), all employers in the United States must verify that every individual that is hired is either:
- A citizen of the United States
- A lawful permanent resident
- A foreign national with authorization to work in the United States
What employers need to know about I-9 audit?
All employers, whether private or public, big or small, for profit or not for profit are required to have the form I-9 for each employee. No employers or employees are exempt from this requirement.
The form I-9 must be completed and signed within three days of commencement of the employment
I-9 form must be complete in all respects. All data fields must be correctly filled in, and the form must be dates and signed by both the employee and the employer. The employer must check the birth certificate, passport, alien registration card, social security card and other documents of the employee.
The form must be updated from time to time, and failing to have a valid passport, driver’s license, alien registration card, employment authorization document and other documents that support I-9 is considered a violation.
Employers are required to retain original and signed I-9 forms for three years from the date of hire and for a year after termination of employment. Although employers are not required to retain the copies of supporting documents, if the employer keep copies it must do so for all employees.
Employer duty of verification and consequences of failure to verify properly
The Department of Homeland Security is charged with enforcing laws against unauthorized employment. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency conducts audits of non-compliant businesses, and they can also raid employers.
Penalties for erring employers can be both civil and criminal.
Paperwork violation can invite civil penalty ranging from $110 to $1,100 per deficient form
Knowingly hiring or continued employment of unauthorized employees can invite civil penalties of $275 to $2,200 per employees for first violation, and it increases considerably with every subsequent violation.
Accepting fraudulent documents can invite civil penalties of $250-$2000 per document for first violation, and the penalties increase significantly for subsequent violations.
A pattern of deliberate hiring or continued employment of unauthorized employees can invite criminal penalties, which may include six months of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $3,000 per employee.
Harboring, knowingly hiring ten or more unauthorized employees over a twelve month period can invite jail time of up to ten years and potential civil penalties.
Our employment verification lawyers can protect businesses and their employees in the following ways:
- Develop employment verification compliance plans for businesses
- Perform an internal audit of all employees’ I-9 paperwork and ensure that the business has the ability to comply with an employment verification audit from the governmental agencies
- Rectify any errors found on your I-9 paperwork
- Prepare all the paperwork for employment verification audits from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs
- Enforcement (ICE), and/or other government agencies
- Help with settlement of civil penalties arising from failure to comply with employment verification procedures
Contact Our Employment Verification Lawyers Now (954) 566-2606
We can answer all your questions regarding the regulations and law. We can also assist your business implement best practices for employment verification compliance. In case your company is selected for an I-9 compliance, we can provide both practical and legal advice on how to best respond. Call us today or complete our online immigration lawyer form.