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Helping Employers with E-Verify and I-9 Audits

In recent years, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up inspections of Form I-9s at companies across the country. If your company receives a Notice of Inspection (NOI), you want to be confident that all of your immigration records and documentation is in order and that your employees and hiring practices are in full compliance with immigration laws. If ICE decides that you violated I-9 or E-Verify procedures, your company can face hefty penalties and your employees could face deportation proceedings.

To prevent unnecessary immigration issues with your business or your employees, it is important for companies to conduct E-Verify and I-9 audits on their own at regular intervals. At Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. our immigration attorneys assist employers with this process and more.

E-Verify Audit

An E-Verify audit should be adapted to your own company’s practices, but should generally review and inspect the following:

  • Is each E-Verify user trained properly?
  • Do you have required posters in English and Spanish?
  • Do you properly terminate user access when necessary?
  • Do you complete an I-9 before starting an E-Verify case?
  • Do create E-Verify cases within three business days of when a newly hired employee begins work?
  • Does your system properly safeguard all personal information of employees?
  • Do you keep all records of the employee’s matched photo?
  • Do you review the TNC notice and the referral letter with the employee, sign it together, and keep it on file?
  • Do you check for case resolution and properly close cases in the system?
  • Do you terminate employees upon a TNC or hire employees without an E-Verify resolution?

After reviewing all of your procedures, always be honest about any issues in your system and address them in a timely manner. An experienced attorney can assist you in the audit process, as well as make necessary adjustments in training and procedures.

I-9 Audits

ICE is increasingly raiding businesses and HR departments searching for I-9 errors. Even one missing I-9 form can cost an employer more than $1,000, and you can face penalties up to $16,000 for a missing I-9 for an unauthorized employee. You should always be organized and ready in the event that immigration agents knock at your door, and one way to ensure this is to conduct your own audits at regular intervals.

  • Check your workforce headcount against the I-9 forms on file
  • Take action immediately if a form is missing and create a new form
  • Do not backdate the form
  • If an employee cannot provide the necessary documents, ensure the procedure is to terminate them or put them on unpaid leave until you can resolve the matter.
  • Check for expired forms that need to be reverified

Having the right I-9 forms on file is essential to prevent penalties and other issues with immigration officials. In the event of an ICE audit, you should immediately seek defense representation from an experienced employment immigration attorney.

Contact Our Iowa Immigration Audit Attorneys for Assistance

Our team at Farmer, Farmer & Brown Law Firm, P.L.L.C. assists companies with E-Verify and I-9 compliance, as well as with defense in the event of a federal audit. Call (512) 894-2128 or contact us today for more information.


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