Everything You Need To Know About Form I-9 Compliance

May 25, 2010


Why Employers Must Verify Employment Authorization and Identity of New Employees

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

In 1986, Congress reformed U.S. immigration laws. These reforms, the result of a bipartisan effort, preserved the tradition of legal immigration while seeking to close the door to illegal entry. The employer sanctions provisions, found in section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), were added by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). These provisions further changed with the passage of the Immigration Act of 1990 and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) of 1996.

Employment is often the magnet that attracts individuals to reside in the United States illegally

The purpose of the employer sanctions law is to remove this magnet by requiring employers to hire only individuals who may legally work here: citizens and nationals of the United States, lawful permanent residents, and aliens authorized to work.

To comply with the law, you must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person you hire, complete and retain a Form I-9 for each employee, and refrain from discriminating against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship.

Form I-9 helps employers to verify individuals who are authorized to work in the United States.


  • Handbook For Employers (pdf)  – provides guidance on how to properly complete Form I-9, and answers frequently asked questions about the law as it relates to Form I-9  (Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

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6 Tips On I-9 Compliance In The Hospitality Industry

June 2, 2009


National labor and employment law firm Fisher & Phillips LLP has some excellent tips on I-9 compliance for the hospitality industry.

  • The Form I-9 is one of the most effective tools for ensuring that a newly-hired employee is authorized to work in the United States.
  • Employers who have heavy turnover, or who have multiple locations, should consider replacing paper I-9 forms with an electronic software program.  An electronic I-9 program instantly double-checks that each form is entered completely and accurately. These programs can also be synchronized with the E-Verify federal database, if used or required.
  • Employers in the hospitality industry often have more than one location in which they do business. In many cases, individuals are hired at various locations and personnel paperwork is not processed centrally. Your best defense is to make available company-wide training-and-compliance manuals. A written policy dictating the timeline for when an I-9 form should be completed, together with simple but comprehensive instructions, can help ensure that your company’s human resources personnel are completing I-9s in a consistent and accurate manner.
  • Because proper training is never going to fully eliminate errors and omissions, employers should conduct a central audit of all I-9 forms at least annually.
  • Because of the seasonal nature of many hospitality businesses, it’s common for employees to work for a particular establishment for only part of the year, or for a one-time event such as a convention. This leads to a common scenario where an employee is hired, subsequently terminated, and re-hired during a later season or for a later event. Employers in this situation often assume that since an I-9 form was completed on that employee’s behalf originally, there is no need to re-verify that the employee has authorization to work. But this is not true. An I-9 form completed for a previously-terminated employee is only valid upon re-hire if the documents originally used for the I-9 form are still valid and have not expired. Also, the individual’s original start date must not have been more than three years in the past.
  • Pro-actively institute company-wide training and compliance guidelines to ensure that non-compliance at one location doesn’t attract government scrutiny for the entire company. Finally, the I-9 form appears deceptively simple but can be complex. Don’t be afraid to seek assistance in properly completing and retaining I-9 forms.

Read the article here.

Advantages of using FYI Screening for E-Verify:

  • As a designated E-Verify service provider, FYI Screening can help you join the growing ranks of those employers who use the E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of workers in the United States.
  • Seamless integration into our online background screening system. When you order a background check on an applicant you can easily order an E-Verify check.
  • Quick, accurate results
  • Confirmation number provides streamlined record-keeping in one convenient online location.  This is great for companies with multiple locations.
  • Reduces liability by providing an electronic trail for auditing.

For more information about E-Verify, please contact us at 1-800-809-2419 or click here.

Photo Credit:  jensen_chua

E-Verify Federal Contractor Rule Delayed 4th Time

June 1, 2009

Seyfarth Shaw reports:

“The federal government has extended, for a fourth time, the effective date of the E-Verify requirement for federal government contractors. The regulation is now set to take effect on September 8, 2009. The effective date is being delayed to give the Obama administration additional time to review the regulation, which was originally scheduled to be implemented on January 15, 2009. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an official announcement of the delay is expected to be published in the Federal Register this week.”

E-Verify Facts:

- Use of E-Verify is mandatory in 12 states
- 6.6 Million E-Verify queries were run in 2008*
- Over 1000 companies sign up each week*
- More than 100,000 employers use E-Verify today*
- 96% of workers immediately are authorized to work through E-Verify*
- Employees have the right to contest results
- 13% of all new hires were E-Verified in 2008

*Reported by Department of Homeland Security

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Employee Screening Articles For October

October 31, 2008

In case you missed any of our employee screening articles for October, here’s a quick recap:

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips- Part 2

Sex Offenders and Halloween Safety Tips

Pre-Employment Drug Testing For Teachers

Background Checks For The Education Industry

Background Checks For Temporary Employees

Do You Have a Sex Offender Working For You?

Immigration Crackdown – HR Director Indicted

Drug-Free Work Week

Why Gaps In Employment Are A Red Flag

$100 Million For E-Verify

Hiring For Hotels: Why Screening Is Essential

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Immigration Crackdown – HR Director Indicted

October 8, 2008

Federal authorities raided a poultry plant on Tuesday, detaining more than 300 workers believed to be in the country illegally and searching for evidence of unlawful hiring practices.

The plant’s human resources director, Elaine Crump, was arrested in July. She was indicted on 20 felony counts charging that she instructed employees to use fraudulent employment eligibility forms. She is expected in court later this month.

Authorities allege Crump instructed human resource employees to use previously signed employment verification documents for new hires. Crump knew that the company official who had signed the verification papers could not have witnessed whether immigrant job applicants provided the required documentation, the indictment states. That’s because the company official was no longer working at the plant.

Read the story

New Passport Card Can Be Used For Form I-9

August 11, 2008

On August 8, 2008, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) made an announcement that the new U.S. Passport Card may be used in the Form I-9 process.

Last month, the Departments of State and Homeland Security announced that the new passport card was in full production. The new card provides a less expensive and more portable alternative to the traditional passport book, and will expedite document processing at United States land and sea ports-of-entry for U.S. citizens traveling to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda.

The new card cannot be used for international air travel, but it is a valid passport that attests to the U.S. citizenship and identity of the bearer. The card may be used for the Form I-9 process and can also be accepted by employers participating in the E-Verify program.

The passport card is considered a “List A” document that may be presented by newly hired employees during the employment eligibility verification process to show work authorized status. “List A” documents are those used by employees to prove both identity and work authorization when completing the Form I-9.

Did you know…

  • If you are an employer, you must retain Form I-9 for three years after the date employment begins or one year after the date the person’s employment is terminated, whichever is later.
  • Failure to provide Form I-9s for inspection is a violation of the employer sanctions laws and could
    result in the imposition of civil money penalties.
  • That an employer can be fined up to $3,000 or imprisoned up to 6 months for engaging in a pattern or practice of knowingly hiring and continuing to employ unauthorized aliens.

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