Form I-9 consists of three pages plus one page entitled “List of Acceptable Documents”. It has to be filled out by both employers and employees. The main purpose of this document is to verify that each newly hired employee is authorized for legal work in the United States.
As an employer, you should provide each person you hire with a paper or electronic sample of the form and make sure he or she complete it on the very first day of work. The most convenient way to fill out I-9 is to use an Internet connected computer or tablet and find a fillable online template. By doing so, you are able to easily correct mistakes and perform the procedure of employment eligibility verification without any delays. In case you notice a grammatical mistake, a typo, or if information provided by an applicant is of dubious authenticity, you can either correct the form or take a new sample and start over. Employers should also be sure that each applicant can access the instructions and the list of acceptable documents.
To get started, let’s take a look at the form and its main parts:
Part 1 of the document is prepared by employees while others should be checked and completed by employers or their authorized representatives.
Let’s see how Section 1 should be completed. First, employees enter their biographical information and Social Security Number which allows the hirer to verify their identity via E-verify. Entering an email address and telephone number are optional but it is mandatory to mark each field they skip as N/A. This part is considered done when filled out and signed either manually or electronically. Keep in mind that your digital signature has the same legal weight as a handwritten one.
An employer should check the first part and make sure that it is filled correctly and that all the documents provided are authentic. The only case when the documents cannot be accepted is when they are expired or when the employer has doubts about their originality.
Part 2 of I-9 must be filled out and signed within three business days of the employee’s first day of work for pay. It is also important to remember to specify the employee's first day of employment.
Section 3 is used for re-verification. For instance, it can be applied when employees are dismissed from their job and rehired again. In order to make this procedure possible, the form should be kept for one year after the date of employee’s termination.