Form I-9 Responsibilities & Fines

Employers have responsibilities they must adhere to during the hiring process as it relates to the Form I-9.   All U.S. employers must complete the Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States; which includes both U.S. citizens and non-citizens.  

Both the employee and employer must complete the form. The employee must attest to his or her employment authorization as well as present the employer with acceptable documents establishing both identity and employment authorization.  The employer must examine the original/unexpired employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents and then determine whether the document(s) appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee.  Employers must retain the Form I-9 for a designated period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers.  Failure to adhere to these practices will result in penalties and fines, and sometimes even result in criminal charges.

In early 2020 a Texas construction company was fined $3 million dollars for their plan to hire undocumented workers while other companies were fined based solely on mistakes made on the Form I-9 itself. 

The Department of Homeland Security announced that Form I-9 fines will be increasing in 2020.  All new fines will be effective for penalties calculated after June 17,2020 for associated violations which occurred after November 2, 2015. 

The new fines are reported below:

Penalties for Knowingly Hire / Continuing to Employ Violations


Penalties for Substantive and Uncorrected Technical Substantive Verification Violations


TPS for South Sudan Extended for 18 Months

The Department of Homeland Security has decided to extend the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for South Sudan for 18 months, through May 2, 2022. Current beneficiaries who want to maintain their status must re-register from Nov. 2, 2020, through Jan. 4, 2021.

Given the time frames for processing TPS re-registration applications, USCIS has automatically extended the validity of certain Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) issued under the TPS designation for South Sudan through May 1, 2021.

Completing Form I-9

To complete or update Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for TPS South Sudan beneficiaries who present an EAD with a Category Code of A12 or C19 and a Card Expires date of Nov. 2, 2020, enter May 1, 2021, as the new expiration date of the automatically extended EAD on Form I-9. You must reverify these employees before they start work on May 2, 2021.