FAQ’s about Form I9

Form I9—Employment Eligibility Verification—is a USCIS form that is mandatory for all employees. The FAQs about it as follows. Since it concerns every newly hired individual, it is normal to have questions in mind.

First and foremost, Form I9 is mandatory to file for all employees regardless of citizenship and immigration status. If Form I9 isn’t filed within three days of the employee’s hire, it will be considered a violation. There won’t be any penalties subject to the employer or the employee right away though. The penalties imposed by the USCIS will occur during an inspection by the agency.

The penalty for failing to produce Form I9 ranges between $230 to $2,292. The penalty amount is determined depending on the number of previous offenses and the percentage of substantive Form I9 violations. So expect to pay more in penalties as an employer if more of your employees fail to produce Form I9. Having all this said, employers should keep track of their employers to make sure they are producing Form I9 within the given time period.

Employer Questions

Employee doesn’t fill out Form I9. What do I do?

Employers needs to keep up with Form I9 obligations. If an employee haven’t filed Form I9 within three days of the hire, you can terminate the employee. The USCIS gives the right to terminate employees to employers if Form I9 isn’t produced and presented with acceptable documents.

Do I need to scan employee documents?

Once your employee fill out Form I9 and present documents to establish their identity and work authorization, you need to scan a copy of the documents. Regardless of the documents your employees present, you will need to scan a copy where the photographs on the documents are visible.

What to do during Form I9 inspection?

Generally, USCIS or ICE agents are going to inspect Forms I9. This can happen either in the worksite or the USCIS will ask you to bring Forms I9 to the agency. If technical violations are found, you are likely to get away with warnings but if there are any missing Forms I9 or documents, you will be subject to a monetary penalty.

How to store Forms I9?

As long as you have the employees’ Forms I9 and the documents that verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States, it can be stored on paper, electronically, or microfilm. The USCIS is not very strict about how Forms I9 are stored as long as the documents are kept safely and reachable at any moment.

How long do I need to keep Forms I9?

The federal law requires employers to keep Forms I9 for at least three years after the employee’s hire or one year after the employment ends. If you’re in the middle, you need to keep Forms I9 for whichever is longer.

Employee Questions

Do I need to file Form I9 every year?

Form I9 is filed only once if you’re working for the same employer. If you change employers, you are required to file a new Form I9. Just because a new Form I9 is out doesn’t mean you need to file it once again.

Is there a new Form I9 for 2021?

The USCIS (Citizenship and Immigration Services) renew Form I9 once every a couple of years. The agency doesn’t release new Forms I9 for every year. Form I9 that will be used in 2021 was published by the agency last year with an expiration date of October 31, 2022. Until this date, Form I9 will be in use.

Can I present copied documents with my I9?

No. You can only present original documents with the only exception of your birth certificate which you can present a certified copy. Your employer will scan a copy of your documents but you must present the original documents whether it be your driver’s license, passport card, school ID, etc.

What documents can I present with Form I9?

With Form I9, you need to present documents that establish identity and work authorization. Some of the documents for identity are driver’s license, school ID card, State ID card; and certified copy or original certification of birth, birth certificate, or Social Security Account Number card for work authorization. You can also present your passport card or book for both establishing both identity and work authorization.

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