Important Changes to Form I-9 Compliance in 2022

Form I-9 regulations
December 15, 2022

The new year will start soon, and with the new year, the workforce will see more changes in workplace immigration documentation. In addition, employers saw several changes to Form I-9 regulations this year. This article will explain a few of the changes below.

Fines Have Increased

Fines for noncompliance with I-9 regulations saw increases this year. For substantive and uncorrected technical errors, the penalty increased to $252-$2,507 from $237 to $2,360 for the first offense. For offenses after that, the fine becomes $1,161 to $2,322.

The fines have also increased for recruiting, referring, and hiring unauthorized noncitizens. For a first offense, the fine increased from $590 – $4,722 to $627 – $5,016. Whereas for the second offense, the fines are now $5,016 – $12,537, and for the third offense, $7,523 – $25,076.

The Current Form I-9 is Still Usable Even While Expired

The Form I-9 that employers currently use expired on October 31, 2023. However, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has told employers to continue to use the current form until notified otherwise.

The new form should come out sometime in early 2023. The USCIS has proposed including Section 1 and Section 2 on one page. In addition, Section 3 may become an optional supplement page. Finally, the USCIS intends to reduce the fifteen-page instructions for Form I-9 down to seven.

The Updated I-9 Inspection Flow Chart

The updated flowchart includes information about Notices of Discrepancies and Notices of Suspect Documents. The new chart also mentions the Notice of Technical Procedures/Failures, stating that employers may correct technical issues before the errors become substantive errors, subject to fines.

Remote Inspection of Documents Still Available in Certain Situations

The government has extended the flexibility to inspect I-9 documents since early in the pandemic. These flexibilities remain in effect for workplaces shut down due to the pandemic. In addition, the flexibility for employees and new hires who are required to update their temporary work authorizations has remained in effect. However, these flexibilities apply only to those not under a no-travel order or subject to quarantine.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has proposed a rule that would permit the government to consider alternative options for the procedures used in examining I-9 documents. These options include making the ability to review Form I-9 documents remotely permanent.

Final Thoughts

There have been many changes to workplace immigration documentation this year. The government would inspire significant change if the new Form I-9 comes out next year and makes remote examinations permanent. However, employers must still comply with I-9 regulations, especially when addressing the increasing fines. Noncompliance can quickly become very expensive. The easiest way to remain in compliance with I-9 regulations is to use an electronic I-9 management system. The tool guides employers through the process. In addition, it will safely store the form and any accompanying documentation.

Learn more about automating your employment eligibility verification and ensuring compliance with I-9 Compliance.