A business owner from Georgia called me the other day, and requested guidance about how to prepare for an audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Among other issues, I told him to read the issued Notice of Investigation very carefully and comply with its varied document requests.

As I told him, here is a basic list of standard documents typically requested by ICE:

  • Original I-9 Forms on all active and inactive employees.
  • Electronic copies of original I-9 Forms on all active and inactive employees on a disk or thumb drive.
  • Copies of documents submitted by all employees as part of their I-9 Form Section 2 completion.
  • An Excel spreadsheet of all current employees’ names, job titles, and employment dates.
  • All E-Verify documentation if applicable.
  • The company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN).
  • Payroll reports for the most recent payroll period leading up to the audit.
  • Payroll reports for the most recent payroll period ending after the audit.
  • State and federal payroll records for the past three months.
  • Copy of Articles of Incorporation, Sole Proprietorship, LLC, etc., and the company’s business license.

In addition to those documents, I informed the business owner that he should also be prepared to respond to the following questions:

  • Who is responsible for completing the I-9 Forms?
  • Who is the owner of the business?
  • Does the owner own any other businesses? If so, state them and their locations.
  • What is the type of business entity?
  • Does the company have written procedures addressing employment eligibility verification?
  • Does the company have any government contracts?
  • Has the company had any other recent audits (e.g., DOL, IRS, DHS)?
  • Does the company use any independent contractors?
  • Does the hiring manager have knowledge of the laws related to I-9 Form completion?
  • What is the company’s process for requesting I-9 Form Section 2 documents from employees?

If you have any questions regarding the above-mentioned content or any other human resources topic, simply call me at (760) 685-3800.

Harvest Group Partners


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Steve Cesare Ph.D.

has more than 25 years of Human Resources experience. Prior to joining The Harvest Group, Steve worked with Bemus Landscape, Jack in the Box, the County of San Diego, Citicorp, and NASA. Steve earned his Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Old Dominion University, and has authored 68 human resources journal articles. As a member of The Harvest Group, Steve’s areas of expertise include: staffing, legal compliance, wage and hour issues, training, and employee safety.  Read Steve's full bio.