Completing an I-9 in 2022
Completing an I9 in 2022 has changed some since things were “business as usual” two short years ago. Thanks to a global pandemic and a new administration making moves on immigration policy, the compliance landscape has shifted. It’s important to pay attention to I-9 changes and submit this time sensitive work-authorizing document without flaws or your production can face serious fines.
COVID-19 Virtual Verification
The government extended its popular deferment of in-person inspection of I-9 documents, allowing productions to submit I-9s with documents reviewed digitally until April 30, 2022.
However, with current policies still in place, productions will have to inspect a crew member's documents in-person when this deferment expires.
Expired Documents Are Still Acceptable When Completing an I-9 in 2022
Authorized “list B” documents that expired on or after March 1,2020 are still acceptable forms of ID, if the state that issued them has formally extended expiration. This provision was put into place in many locales since people were having trouble renewing documents at the start of the pandemic.
If the state has extended expiration, you can complete Form I-9 and enter “COVID-19 EXT” in the Additional Information Field.
For states that have not extended expiration, the expired documents can be accepted as “receipts” and must be updated as soon as renewed documents are available.
Replacements for Expired Documents Treated as Receipts
Updated USCIS provisions dictate that production crew members can now present alternate documents or a combination of documents to reaffirm originally submitted receipts or expired documents.
In the past, if a crew member presented a receipt for a replacement of a document that was lost or destroyed, an employer would have to follow up within 90 days of hire. Now, employers can accept another document or combination of documents instead.
If this is the case, employers should complete a new Section 2, attach it to the I-9, and provide an explanation on the second page of the I-9 in the “Additional Information” box.
Penalties Increase for I-9 in 2022
On top of penalty increases made by the DHS in October, which we covered in our last blog post, the Department of Justice announced an inflationary adjustment on December 13,2021.
Fines for unfair immigration-related employment practices are now in the range of $487 to $3,901 per individual discriminated against.
Take Note of State Laws on Immigration Before Hiring
Some states have passed laws disallowing employers from making hiring decisions based on someone’s immigration status. A new law in Illinois does just that, and more states are expected to follow suit.
Productions should remain vigilant of new state laws and readjust questions about immigration status accordingly before starting the hiring process.
Software and Compliance
When handling I-9s, perfection is key to avoid hefty fines that can and will add up quickly and put undue stress on your production’s bottom line. That’s why TiM integrates the very latest in I-9 compliance and makes it easy to keep your production compliant with evolving government standards.
Read more about I-9 compliance in 2022 here.
If you have questions, I’m here to help.