I-9 Compliance


All employees must provide their employers documentation that shows they are eligible to work in the United States. The immigration form – Form I-9 – is what employers are required to use and maintain during and after an employee’s employment. Compliance with I-9 regulations is extremely important and can be very complicated, even though the form itself is just one page. I-9 Compliance is especially important for businesses that have a lot of employee turnover.  Put your company in the best position possible by contacting and working with us if you are an employee or employer facing a Form I-9 issue.

Employers and Employees Have Responsibilities

Employees have responsibility to complete Section 1 of the form truthfully and completely, and to submit it to their employer in a timely manner, and no later than their first day of work. It is the employer’s responsibility to review the Form I-9 with the employee to make sure it is completed fully. Additionally, employers must complete part two of Form I-9 by requesting and maintaining copies of acceptable forms of identification, and examining those items for fraud.


E-Verify is an internet-based database system used to evaluate whether the social security number an employee provided matches with that employee’s name. Not all employers use E-Verify and it is not required, unless a business accepts/wins government contracts, in Colorado. The program is free but, because it is a database where the information is entered by human beings, it can provide inaccurate results. Employees and employers have rights and responsibilities when a “no match” result occurs. If this has happened to you, contact us immediately to make sure you take the next steps correctly.


I-9 Audits 

In an effort to ensure employers are not hiring unauthorized workers, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts audits after issuing a Notice of Inspection. These audits are intended to identify mistakes with Form I-9 and poor non-compliance with the law. ICE will issue fines if any mistakes are discovered on current or past employees’ forms.  ICE can double the fine if there is a “pattern or practice” of I-9 non-compliance. In extreme cases, such as the Agriprocessors, Inc (the kosher slaughterhouse and meat packing plant in Postville, Iowa, that made headlines from 2008-2010) employers and certain employees can face criminal charges, including prison time. As an employer, it is in your best interest to hire an immigration lawyer to help you prepare for such an audit if you’ve received an NOI.


Pro-Active I-9 Assessments: An Investor in Your Business’ Future

At Swenson Law Office, PC, we highly recommend employers conduct a pro-active review of its I-9 documentation. Once that’s done, employers will have a better idea as to what fines the could face if ICE were to audit them today.  Here are some important highlights about our unique pro-active I-9 Assessment offering:

  • Our team includes a former ICE agent who conducted these very same audits for more than 30 years.
  • We review for federal and state compliance laws.
  • We use current best practices to correct mistakes before an audit.
  • We educate on employers’ responsibilities and employees’ rights.
  • We train management and staff on spotting fake IDs.
  • We help employers develop in-house I-9 procedures to keep them in compliance for years to come.
  • We help employers’ minimize the penalties they may face.

Why not just wait until ICE comes to do an actual audit? It’s time to stop stepping over dollars to pick up dimes! It is a smart business decision to spend a little now, make certain your company is in compliance then wait and spend tens of thousands later defending a company after an ICE audit. When comprehensive immigration reform legislation is enacted, we have no doubt that part of any increase in national and border security will include an increase in I-9 audits. Contact us to see how pro-active I-9 assessments can save you money.


Why You Want Us For Your I-9 Compliance

For all of the situations listed above and others we just couldn’t cover here, it is critical to the future of your business that you retain the services of our immigration attorneys. Our lawyers are capable of assisting you with any kind of I-9 compliance issue, whether you are an employer or an employee. No other immigration law firm provides this type of pro-active I-9 service! We can help, so contact us right away to make an appointment.


Swenson Law Office, PC

5161 E. Arapahoe Rd., Suite 120