Maintaining Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 Forms

USCIS Penalties

If there is an issue, the USCIS is no longer filing cases as civil penalties, they are now being brought under criminal
code. Standard penalties are:

  • Poor documentation can cost up $1,000 per employee
  • Knowledgeably hiring an illegal immigrant can cost up to $10,000

USCIS I-9 Form Compliance Guidelines

Follow the below guidelines to stay clear of any legal issues and avoid USCIS penalties concerning I-9 forms.

  • Make sure all new employees complete the I-9 form, specifically Section 1, on their first day of work. Do not allow applicants to complete this form before they are hired. If they are not hired, they can file for discrimination.
  • Ask the employee to give you acceptable documents from the updated I-9 list. Review these documents to make sure they are up- to-date and appear legitimate.
  • Regulate a uniform procedure for completing I-9 forms. This procedure should be followed by all hiring managers.
  • Always make and keep copies of I-9 documentation on file.
  • Set a reminder to follow up on documents with expiration dates that will limit employees’ work authorization.
  • Keep I-9s and employee documentation for at least 3 years after the hire date or 1 year after the termination date.
  • To protect against discrimination, keep I-9s and supporting documents separate from an employee’s personnel file.

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