This is your all-in-one reference guide for auditing your Form I-9 Process. Internal I-9 audits assist with regulatory compliance, and should be performed to review, evaluate, and improve hiring procedures.
Your internal I-9 audit should be done consistently, thoroughly, annually, and by a knowledgeable staff member, and in an unbiased fashion.
The Guide includes:
- Conducting the Audit
- Audit Checklist
- Additional Audit Guidance
- Internal Self-Audit Checklist
According to the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986, employers may only hire persons legally eligible to work in the United States (including citizens and nationals of the U.S., and aliens authorized to work in the U.S.). The employer must verify the identity and employment eligibility of anyone being hired, which includes completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Employers must retain each Form I-9 for at least three years, or one year after employment ends, whichever is longer.
Internal I-9 audits assist with regulatory compliance, and should be performed to review, evaluate, and improve hiring procedures. Before beginning the internal audit, it’s imperative that your company establish procedures to ensure the audit is conducted in a non-discriminatory manner. It is illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race or national origin, and mishandling an internal audit can create the appearance of discriminatory practices and the potential for discrimination charges. Your internal I-9 audit should be done consistently, thoroughly, annually, by a knowledgeable staff member, and in an unbiased fashion.
The review should concentrate on key problems that frequently arise during the completion of the Form I-9. Additionally, it is critical that the individual conducting the audit is familiar with the M-274; the Form I-9 requirements; the risks and pitfalls; the terminology; and the internal corporate process and policy of storing Form I-9 records.
Before we get started, review the below tips for conducting your audit. These will help your audit be more successful and set you up for ongoing success.
Conducting the Audit
Unbiased. Make sure the selection of I-9 forms for an internal audit is not based on the employee’s race or national origin. Either audit all forms, or audit a truly random sample of forms. A company may not selectively choose which forms to audit.
Annual. Conduct annual audits. This provides a defense against allegations of targeted internal I-9 auditing. Internal audit processes should mimic government compliance audit processes. This not only verifies I-9 forms on file, but it also trains the human resources department for actual government compliance audits.
Consistent. Either keep copies of all I-9 verification documents, or none of them. If your records are not complete, then you must either obtain missing documentation, or destroy all collected verification documents. Currently, Colorado is the only state that requires employers to maintain copies of all
Knowledgeable. Designate an I-9 Officer or Company Representative, responsible for knowing and applying Form I-9 rules. The authorized I-9 Officer should achieve the following; be well-versed on the correct completion of the Form I-9; develop and enforce a compliance program; create and implement internal training procedures; conduct regular internal audits; and have a plan of action in place in case of an ICE audit.
Thorough. An internal audit should include an in-depth review of all of a company’s I-9 forms. Considering companies’ limited resources and time, a comprehensive review of all I-9 records may not be feasible. In this case, companies are encouraged to review a significant and fair sample of I-9 forms in determining where the majority of errors/omissions occur, how to correct these, and how to implement better training and policies to ensure proper completion and compliance.
Start your Form I-9 Internal Audit by Downloading our guide today!
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As a consumer reporting agency, we cannot act as your attorney or give you advice. This blog is informative and not all-encompassing. It is not meant to provide legal advice. You must consult qualified legal counsel to ensure you are maintaining a compliant program.