Employer I-9 Compliance, Auditing and E-Verify
I-9 verification is a federally mandated process used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. The law governing the I-9 compliance, commonly known as the employer sanction law, was added by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) and can be found in Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The purpose of the employer sanction law is to eliminate the incentive of illegal immigration by requiring employers to hire only individuals who can legally work in the United States. Form I-9 is used to verify an individual’s eligibility to work in the United States. All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States, including U.S. citizens and noncitizens.
The employee must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 by the first day of employment. The employers then must complete Section 2 and examine identity and employment authorization documents Lists of Acceptable Documents within three business days of the commencement of employment. For example, if the employee begins employment on Monday, the employer must complete Section 2 by Thursday. The employers must physically examine one document from List A (documents that establish both identity and employment authorization). If List A documents are unavailable, the employers must physically examine a combination of one document from List B (documents that establish identity) and one document from List C (documents that establish employment authorization). The step-by-step instruction on filling out a Form I-9 can be found on USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/i-9.USCIS has also published an article about common mistakes in completing Form I-9 and how to avoid them. The article can be found here.
Ensuring diligent compliance with I-9 verification is critical, as an employer can be fined or sanctioned, or even criminally prosecuted for knowingly or unknowingly hiring an alien who is not authorized for employment.
We at Verma Law Firm can assist employers with I-9 compliance as well as audit preparations. If you need assistance or more information relating to I-9, please contact us at (408) 436-1010or set up a legal consultation