Don't get hit with an I-9 fine

There are states, as well as some cities, that do require E-Verify for at least some public and/or private employers. To add to the confusion, California law has restrictions on the use of E-Verify.

Where can you go for help? The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a handbook accessible here about how to complete the form and comply with the verification process. Electronic copies of English and Spanish versions of the I-9 Form are available at

And the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and ICE recently issued “Joint Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits.”  The guidance document is intended to help you structure and implement your own internal audits so that they don’t run afoul of the employer sanctions and anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

You can download the document from the ICE website or from the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) website (

Fay says the two agencies have come to recognize that an increase of internal I-9 audits in the past few years has increased the danger of making mistakes, particularly with respect to unlawful discrimination.

“We’ve seen this before during the new hire process – an overly eager manager throws caution to the wind and decides to ask their new hire employees for every document under the sun, just to ‘cover all bases’ of course,” according to Fay. “During the past few years, the OSC has been steadily cracking down on employers who engage in this form of discrimination, and so it’s only natural that the agency would also take a keen interest in the I-9 correction process as well.”

The current version of Form I-9 expired March 31; however, USCIS has instructed employers to continue using this version of the form until a new revision is approved. The new version of the form, which Fay says is expected to be released later this year, “is designed for small employers and has automated error checking.”


Christine Taxin
36 Abington Avenue
Ardsley New York 10502
United States of America