By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

During 2020, we saw a temporary stoppage of I-9 Notices of Inspection (NOI) (also referred to as ICE I-9 audits) by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) starting in mid-March 2020. As an immigration compliance/worksite enforcement attorney, I’ve been wondering when ICE NOIs will resume. Well, they have resumed at least on a limited scale as a client of mine received one in Hawaii and it was numbered “001” for FY2021 out of the Honolulu office.

I believe after a few months in calendar year 2021, we will see many more NOIs across the country, especially from the offices serving them via FedEx. So, employers should act now to perform an internal audit of your I-9 forms and find out whether you have been naughty or nice in the completion of your I-9 forms. Unfortunately, Santa Claus may only be delivering a lump of coal if based on the quality your I-9 forms.

Additionally, since late summer 2020, ICE has been processing their NOIs from late 2018 and early 2019. Thus, employers who received NOIs in this period, may be receiving Notices of Suspect Documents and Notices of Intent to File (NIFs). If so, you should contact your immigration attorney immediately or hire one immediately, as time is limited to respond.

Let’s hope 2021 will bring employers, immigrants, and everyone a better year than 2020. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

If you are concerned about your company’s I-9 compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, available at