Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States—either U.S. citizens or authorized foreign nationals. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each individual they hire by completing and retaining the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). Employers must have a completed Form I-9 for every employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986.
Complying with Form I-9 requirements accurately and in a timely manner is difficult. The risk employers face for any errors is real and can be extremely expensive. Employers who fail to comply with Form I-9 requirements can face severe consequences, including civil and criminal penalties.
This checklist outlines the steps for completing Form I-9 for a newly hired employee. This checklist is intended to be used as a guide, and the steps in this list should be modified to meet the unique needs of your organization and its onboarding process. This checklist should be completed by someone trained in Form I-9 requirements to reduce the risk of errors.
This checklist provides an overview of completing Form I-9 for a newly hired employee and should not be construed as legal advice. It has been updated to reflect the most current Form I-9 (edition date Aug. 1, 2023). Due to the complex nature of Form I-9 compliance, employers are encouraged to seek legal counsel to discuss and address specific issues and concerns.
On or Before Employee’s First Day of Employment
|Provide the employee with the current Form I-9, instructions and List of Acceptable Documents.||☐||☐|
|Request that the employee provide identity and employability documents for verification.||☐||☐|
|Communicate to the employee that Form I-9 must be completed no later than the end of their first day of employment.||☐||☐|
Completing Section 1 of Form I-9
|Ensure the employee completes Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the end of their first day of employment.||☐||☐|
|Verify the employee entered their full legal name.||☐||☐|
|If the employee has either two first or last names, confirm the employee included both names.||☐||☐|
|If the employee has only one last name, ensure the employee entered “N/A” in Other Last Names Used field.||☐||☐|
|If the employee only has one name, verify the employee entered it in the Last Name field and then entered “Unknown” in the First Name field.||☐||☐|
|If the employee used a preparer or translator to complete Section 1, ensure the preparer or translator completed, signed and dated Supplement A, the Preparer and/or Translator Certification for Section 1.||☐||☐|
|If your organization participates in E-Verify, ensure the employee provided their Social Security number.||☐||☐|
|If the employee’s employment authorization will expire, document the date for reverification.||☐||☐|
|Verify the expiration date for the employee’s employment authorization provided in Section 1 matches the expiration date of the List A or List C documents presented for Section 2.||☐||☐|
|Verify the employee entered:|
|A hyphen or apostrophe in their name, if applicable||☐||☐|
|Middle initial if the employee has a middle name||☐||☐|
|Any other legal last name, including a maiden name, if applicable||☐||☐|
|Current address, including street name and number, city, state, ZIP code and apartment number or letter, if applicable||☐||☐|
|Date of birth||☐||☐|
|Citizenship or immigration status; verify this by checking the appropriate box to indicate whether they are a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national, a lawful permanent resident of the United States or a noncitizen authorized to work in the United States||☐||☐|
|Alien Registration Number or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Number, Form I-94 Admission Number or foreign passport number, including the country of issuance and date the employment authorization expires||☐||☐|
|Signature and current date||☐||☐|
Completing Section 2 of Form I-9
|Ensure Section 2 of Form I-9 is completed and signed within three business days of the employee’s day of employment.||☐||☐|
|Ask the employee to present unexpired original documentation or an acceptable receipt that shows their identity and employment authorization from the List of Acceptable Documents. Do not request or direct the employee to present specific documents from the list.||☐||☐|
|Ensure the employee presents one document from List A or a combination of one document from List B and one from List C.||☐||☐|
|Physically examine the documents presented by the employee to determine if they appear genuine and relate to the employee presenting them. If the documents do not reasonably appear genuine or relate to the employee, ask the employee to present other documents from the List of Acceptable Documents.||☐||☐|
|Enter the employee’s document title, issuing authority, number(s) and expiration date, if any.||☐||☐|
|Enter the date the employee began or will begin work for pay.||☐||☐|
|Enter the first and last name, signature and title of the individual completing Section 2, as well as the date they completed the section.||☐||☐|
|Enter the employer’s business name and address.||☐||☐|
|Return the documents presented to the employee.||☐||☐|
|Check the box in the Additional Information field if alternative procedures authorized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were used to examine the documents presented by the employee.
For more information regarding optional alternative procedures to physical document examination, employers can visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website.
Completing Supplement B (Formerly Section 3) of Form I-9
|Ensure Supplement B, Reverification and Rehire of Form I-9, is completed if the employee’s employment authorization or documentation of employment authorization has expired. If the employee is rehired within three years of the date their Form I-9 was originally completed or if they have legally changed their name, employers may complete Supplement B.||☐||☐|
|Enter the employee’s last name, first name and middle initial at the top of Supplement B.||☐||☐|
|Ask the employee to present unexpired original employment authorization documentation from the List of Acceptable Documents.||☐||☐|
|Physically examine the document presented by the employee to determine if it appears genuine and relates to the employee presenting it. If the document does not reasonably appear to be genuine or relate to the employee, ask the employee to present another document from the List of Acceptable Documents.||☐||☐|
|Record the document title, document number and expiration document, if any, in that block of Supplement B.||☐||☐|
|If the employee is a rehire, enter the rehire date that the employee began or will begin work in the Date of Rehire field.||☐||☐|
|If the employee has legally changed their name, enter the employee’s new legal name in the New Name field of that block of Supplement B.||☐||☐|
|Enter the first and last name, signature and title of the individual completing Supplement B, as well as the date they completed the section.||☐||☐|
Form I-9 can be deceptively simple. Despite only being one page long, excluding Supplements A and B, the form comes with eight pages of instructions. Errors on the form can be costly. Mistakes not only increase the amount of time and money organizations must spend to complete the form but also increase their risk of audits, fines and penalties. While strategies may vary, an effective Form I-9 onboarding process can help organizations reduce errors and decrease their legal exposure while saving money.
For more information about Form I-9, contact Hoffman Insurance Group, LLC today.