U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who are authorized to work in the United States—either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. Form I-9 serves to document that identity and employment authorization have been verified for each newly hired employee. Employers are responsible for completing and retaining Form I-9 and may be subject to costly fines if the form is not completed, is completed incorrectly, or is not retained as required.
Two types of violations will now be penalized more harshly by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
- Employing individuals who are not authorized to work in the U.S., and
- Form I-9 paperwork errors.
These penalties have increased as follows:
- First offense, which previously ranged between $375 and $3,200 per unauthorized alien, has increased to between $539 and $4,313.
- Subsequent offenses, previously ranging between $4,300 and $16,000, has increased to between $6,469 and $21,563 per unauthorized alien.
- Paperwork violations leading to fines were between $110 and $1,100, and have now increased to between $216 and $2,156 per individual.
Along with stiffer penalties, Form I-9 audits are also on the rise. It’s more important than ever that your company understands and complies with I-9 regulations. Axiom recommends conducting regular internal audits to ensure ongoing compliance. If you need assistance with this, contact your Axiom team to schedule a consultation today.