Officials from the Department of Homeland Security, employees from the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at the Department of Justice (DOJ), and employees from the Department of Labor (DOL)  may inspect an employer’s Forms I-9. Employers will generally receive a written Notice of Inspection at least three days before the inspection. These officials will inform the owner, designee, senior management official or registered agent of the business entity of an inspection in person or by certified U.S. mail, return receipt requested. Officials may also use subpoenas and warrants to obtain the forms without providing three days notice

Officials generally choose where they will conduct a Form I-9 inspection. For example, officials may ask that an employer bring Forms I-9 to an ICE field office. Sometimes, employers may arrange for an inspection at the location where the forms are stored.

Recruiters and referrers for a fee who have designated employers to complete Forms I-9 may present photocopies or printed electronic images of those forms to inspecting officials.

When officials arrive to inspect an employer’s Forms I-9, the employer must:

  • Retrieve and reproduce electronically stored Forms I-9 and any other documents the officer requests
  • Provide the officer with the necessary hardware and software to inspect electronic documents
  • Provide the officer with any existing electronic summary of the information recorded on the employer’s Forms I-9

Employers who refuse or delay an inspection will be in violation of the law.

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