Newly Revised Form I-9 Regulations are a Dangerous Crocodile Lurking in the Swamp

A robust November jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the brakes are coming off the U.S. economy. But if small and medium-sized business owners ignore the rapidly changing Form I-9 regulations as they increase hiring, it will be at their own considerable peril, HireBox CEO Patrick Valtin warns.

CLEARWATER, Fla., Dec. 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Three rapid-fire sets of changes to Form I-9 regulations in less than a year are—or should be—cause for alarm and extreme caution in small business owners and/or their human resource managers who are endeavoring to remain in compliance. As of August of 2016, fines for all Form I-9 compliance violations doubled, from a range of $110 to $1,100 per violation to a range of $216 to $2,156—not per individual form, but per error or omission on that form.(2) In addition to these individual fines, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can assess a further penalty of $2,156 per Form I-9 filed if a company audit determines that more than 50% of their I-9s contain substantive or uncorrected technical errors, even when a single error has been committed repeatedly on a majority of the company's forms.(2)

ICE considers five factors in determining fines for compliance failures: size of business; good faith effort to comply; seriousness of violation; whether unauthorized workers were involved; and history of violations.

"The impact of ICE's $400,000 fine on Panda Express last July for I-9 violations,(3) if similarly levied against a small business, would mean utter devastation," cautioned president and CEO of, Patrick Valtin.

In November of 2016, a new "smart" online Form I-9 version was released, with the expectation of fewer errors/omissions and a much higher rate of employer compliance. However, reflecting the increased attention on U.S. immigration policies, a newly revised Form I-9 was issued on July 17, 2017, which contains one significant change: the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)'s addition of the acceptability of a consular Report of Birth Abroad as a List C document, in addition to those from List A and B, all of which combine to show a person's identity and authorization to work.(4)

In addition to the demands of effective employee selection and management, a small business owner or human resources manager must now devote more valuable time and resources to conducting extensive self-audits in anticipation of a Form I-9 audit from ICE,(5) which can occur with as little as a three-day notice. "The most effective, surefire protection for a manager is to stay up-to-date and know all the applicable Form I-9 policy changes—or start looking for help fast," Valtin added.


HireBox is a results-based testing platform utilizing legal quality control to give hiring missions the best outcome. Founded by Patrick Valtin, the job-matching assessments and internal evaluations provide vital information about potential and current employees to human resource professionals, executive coaches, management consultants and CPAs.

Specifically, the Recru-Tec™ pre-hire assessment can detect bully personalities. Based on an evaluation of over 25,000 applicants, Valtin concluded that no matter the talent, competencies or experience, the odds of a successful hire are very, very low if both the willingness and ability to contribute to the team's success and happiness are not included in the selection criteria. For more information on HireBox and its successful tools for recruitment, assessment, hiring, onboarding and retention, visit

About Patrick Valtin

Patrick Valtin is the president and CEO of New Era Management and HireBox, as well as an international speaker and author. Considered an industry leader in recruiting, pre-employment assessment, personnel performance evaluation and human resources development, he has trained more than 125,000 people in over 35 countries over the last 29 years. Valtin was an international business consultant for the Belgian government between 1986 and 1988, later starting his Belgian company, U-MAN, in 1988. The company remains today the largest training company in the country for small businesses. Valtin received an MBA in International Business Studies from the Moore Business School at the University of South Carolina in 1982; his clients over the past 22 years have included Ford Motor Co., BMW, Mercedes, Motorola, IBM and Century 21. His book, No-Fail Hiring 2.0, is a bestseller on Amazon.

(1)  Paquette, Danielle. "The Economy Added 228,000 Jobs in November, Unemployment at 4.1 Percent." The Washington Post, WP Company, 8 Dec. 2017.

(2)  "Why Employers Should Care About Form I-9 Changes." International Compliance Blog, 16 Aug. 2017.

(3)  "Panda Express Fined $400,000 for Form I-9 Compliance Violation." The NMM Immigration Blog, 14 July 2017.

(4)  "Form I-9 Acceptable Documents." USCIS.

(5)  "Form I-9 Inspection Overview." ICE.

Media Contact: Karla Jo Helms, JoTo PR, 888-202-4614,

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