Common I-9 Form Verification Errors and How to Avoid Them
When it comes to hiring employees, there are many steps involved in the process. One of the most crucial steps is completing the I-9 form, which verifies an employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States. However, employers often make mistakes while completing the I-9 form, which can lead to serious consequences. In this article, we will discuss some common I-9 form verification errors and how to avoid them.
What Is I-9 Form Verification
The I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of all employees hired in the United States. It was introduced by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and is mandatory for all employers. The form has two sections, which must be completed within a certain timeframe. The employee must complete section 1 within three days of the start of their employment, while the employer must complete Section 2 within three days of the employee’s start date.
Common I-9 Form Verification Errors
Failure To Complete Section 1 In A Timely Manner
Employers must ensure that employees complete Section 1 of the I-9 form within three days of their start date. Delaying this process can lead to legal consequences.
Citizenship Status Is Unknown
Employers must verify the employee’s citizenship status, which can be done by examining the appropriate documents. Failing to do so can lead to penalties and fines.
Employee Personal Information Is Incomplete
Employers must ensure that all personal information, such as the employee’s full name, address, and date of birth, is completed accurately on the I-9 form.
The Signature Of The Employee Is Absent
The employee must sign and date Section 1 of the I-9 form. The absence of the employee’s signature can lead to penalties and fines.
The Use Of A Preparer/Translator Has Not Been Identified
If a preparer or translator assists the employee in completing Section 1 of the I-9 form, their information must be provided in the appropriate section. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences.
Failure To Complete Section 2
Employers must ensure that Section 2 of the I-9 form is completed within three days of the employee’s start date. Failing to do so can lead to legal consequences.
Failure To Incorporate Employee Data From Section 1
Employers must ensure that the information provided in Section 1 of the I-9 form is accurately incorporated into Section 2.
Failure To Follow The Photocopying Policy Of The Company
If the company has a policy of photocopying the documents provided by the employee, it must be followed accurately. Failure to do so can lead to legal consequences.
Employer Certification Not Completed Within Three Days Of The Hire Date
Employers must ensure that Section 2 of the I-9 form is completed accurately and certified within three days of the employee’s start date.
Failure To Retain The Form For The Required Period Of Time
One of the common I-9 form verification errors is the failure to retain the form for the required period of time. Employers are required to retain the completed I-9 forms for each employee for a certain period of time.
Under federal law, employers must retain the I-9 forms for three years after the employee’s hire date or one year after the employee’s termination date, whichever is later. In addition, employers must retain the I-9 forms for the duration of the employee’s employment if the employee’s employment lasts less than three years.
Failure to retain the I-9 forms for the required period of time can result in significant legal consequences, including fines and penalties. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can levy fines of up to $2,292 per I-9 form for noncompliance.
Consequences Of I-9 Form Verification Mistakes
The consequences of I-9 form verification mistakes can be severe for employers. Failure to comply with I-9 regulations can result in legal consequences, fines, and penalties. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can conduct worksite investigations and audits to ensure employers comply with I-9 regulations.
The consequences of I-9 form verification mistakes may include:
- Civil Fines: The USCIS can impose civil fines for I-9 form violations, ranging from $234 to $2,292 per violation.
- Criminal Penalties: Employers knowingly hiring unauthorised workers or engaging in document fraud can face criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
- Debarment: Employers who violate I-9 regulations may be debarred from participating in federal government contracts.
- Reputational Damage: Violations of I-9 regulations can damage the employer’s reputation and harm their brand.
To avoid legal consequences, employers must ensure that their HR and hiring managers are adequately trained on the I-9 form verification process and take steps to avoid errors. Employers must also keep accurate and complete records, regularly audit I-9 forms, seek advice from an immigration attorney on complex situations, and hire an agent for remote employees.
How To Avoid I-9 Form Verification Errors
Here are some ways to avoid common I-9 form verification errors:
Organizing Frequent Training Sessions For HR And Hiring Managers
Employers must ensure that HR and hiring managers are adequately trained on the I-9 form verification process. Organizing frequent training sessions can help decrease errors and enhance accuracy.
To Decrease Errors And Enhance Accuracy, An Electronic I-9 Form Method Is Being Used.
Employers can use an electronic I-9 form method to decrease errors and enhance accuracy. This method can help simplify the I-9 process, reduce paperwork, and streamline the verification process.
Auditing I-9 Forms On A Regular Basis To Identify And Remedy Errors
Employers must regularly audit I-9 forms to identify and remedy errors. This can help ensure compliance and avoid legal consequences.
Seeking Advice From An Immigration Attorney On Complex Situations
If the employer encounters complex situations while completing the I-9 form, seeking advice from an immigration attorney can help ensure compliance and avoid legal consequences.
Hire An Agent To Complete Section 2 Of The I-9 Form For Remote Employees
If the employee is remote, verifying their identity and employment eligibility can be difficult. Employers can hire an agent to complete Section 2 of the I-9 form for remote employees.
The process to complete and verify I9 form accurately and on time is crucial for employers. Common I-9 form verification errors can lead to legal consequences, fines, and penalties. Employers must ensure that HR and hiring managers are adequately trained on the I-9 form verification process and take steps to avoid errors. Using electronic I-9 form methods, auditing I-9 forms regularly, seeking advice from an immigration attorney, and hiring an agent for remote employees can help ensure compliance and avoid legal consequences.