An I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals who are hired in the United States. There are sections of this document that both the employee and employer must complete.
Employers must complete the I-9 form within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment. The employee must present documents to validate their identity and the employer must physically examine each document to determine whether it is genuine and belongs to the employee. Then, the employer must document the information on the I-9 form.
Employers are required to retain the I-9 form for each employee for either one year after the date they are terminated or three years after the date of hire, whichever is later.
I-9 audit process
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts employment eligibility audits, also known as I-9 audits. The employer will receive a Notice of Inspection from ICE and it will request to review the employer’s payroll records, I-9 forms and supporting documents.
If ICE finds errors, it will list the corrections that need to be made. The employer then has ten business days to make the corrections.
If ICE finds that the employer knowingly hired or employed unauthorized workers or failed to complete and retain I-9 forms, the employer can face serious civil and criminal penalties, including fines.