How to prepare for an I-9 compliance audit
In our last post, we shared some details about the new version of the Form I-9 employers have been required to use since September 18. After the recent release of the new version in an atmosphere of increase enforcement, companies need to stay on top of I-9 compliance. The U.S. Department Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement [ICE] can examine your business’s records at will, so it is best practice to regularly conduct I-9 compliance audits. Here are some things you should do when undergoing an I-9 compliance check:
- Fill out all sections properly and completely. Pay special attention to sections 1 and 2 which will be reviewed for accuracy in an audit. Section 3 will only be reviewed if changes have been made such as employment status, reverification, and rehires.
- Update your roster of employees. Remember, all employees hired on or after November 6 1986 must have an I-9 filled out. If you discover than an I-9 is not present for an employee, make sure to obtain one as soon as possible.
- Have valid I-9 documentation. After you review your roster, check that all documentation is account for. Remember, documentation for former employees is only needed for one year after separation or three years from date of hire [whichever is later].
- Obtain all necessary signatures. It is crucial to carefully look over all three sections of the I-9 once it has been completed to ensure you’ve signed in all the required areas.
Conducting a self-audit is the best way to ensure you are up to date on I-9 documentation. For more details on Form I-9, check out the USCIS’s I-9 Central webpage, which contains instructions for handling the Form I-9 and publishes current announcements on any updates and changes.