I-9 Central: Completing Form I-9
Form I-9 may be completed as soon as the employer has offered the individual a job and the individual has accepted the offer. Each newly hired employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than his or her first day of employment.
If an employer chooses to treat acquired employees as new hires rather than as continuing in employment, the employer must complete new Forms I-9 for all of these employees within the regulatory timeframes applicable to Form I-9 completion for new hires. Employers may complete new Forms I-9 before the merger or acquisition takes place as long as the employer has offered the acquired employee a job and the employee has accepted the offer. Regulations do not provide for lengthier timeframes in the case of a merger or acquisition.
USCIS has interpreted Section 105 of AC21 to only provide for portability of H-1B status. Thus, if the nonimmigrant is not currently maintaining a valid H-1B status, or in an authorized period of stay based on a timely filed extension of H-1B status petition, the H-1B status portability rule would not apply. An individual in H-4 status is not able to port and must wait for the I-129 to be approved before he/she can begin work as an H-1B with either a new or a previous employer.
No. Both the employer’s and the employee’s handwritten (or electronic signature, if applicable) signatures are required to complete Form I-9.
There is no requirement to update the individual’s attestation. The employee can voluntarily update Section 1 and initial and date the changes or complete Section 1 of a new Form I-9 and attach it to the existing Form I-9.
It is recommended to use the American date format MM/DD/YYYY which is shown on the Form I-9 and the Form I-9 Instructions. Other formats are acceptable as long as it is clear what format was used. Corrections are not required to correct the date format.
The instructions and the Lists of Acceptable Documents page must be made available to all employees completing the form. You do not need to provide a copy of the instructions for employees to keep, but you must provide a copy that they can refer to while completing the Form I-9.
It is acceptable to have both typed and handwritten information on the Form I-9.
Form I-9 does not need to be completed in ink and the use of pencil is not prohibited. The information written or printed on the form must be legible and the information must be readable for the entire retention period of the form. The preferred medium is black or blue ink since it is permanent, often easier to read and not as susceptible to fading.
Yes. However, you must ensure that such information is legible. Any additional writing, printing or highlighting on Form I-9 outside of the required information must not interfere with an authorized government official’s ability to read the information on the form or add additional requirements to the form.
Yes. A state workforce agency may choose to complete Forms I-9 and verify the employment authorization and identity of individuals it refers to employers. If you hire an individual referred to you by a state workforce agency, the agency must issue a certification to you so that you can comply with Form I-9 requirements. You should check with your state employment agency to see if it provides this service and learn more about your responsibilities.
Yes. You can contract with another person or business to verify employees’ identities and employment authorization and to complete Forms I-9 for you. However, you are still responsible for the contractor’s actions and are liable for any violations of the employment eligibility verification requirements.
You may designate an authorized representative to fill out Forms I-9 on behalf of your company, including personnel officers, foremen, agents or notary public. The Department of Homeland Security does not require the authorized representative to have specific agreements or other documentation for Form I-9 purposes. If an authorized representative fills out Form I-9 on your behalf, you are still liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process.
When completing Form I-9, you or authorized representative must physically examine each document presented to determine if it reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee presenting it. Reviewing or examining documents via webcam is not permissible.
If the authorized representative refuses to complete Form I-9 (including providing a signature) another authorized representative may be selected. DHS does not require the authorized representative to have specific agreements or other documentation for Form I-9 purposes. If you hire a notary public, the notary public is acting as an authorized representative of you, not as a notary. The notary public must perform the same required actions as an authorized representative. When acting as an authorized representative, the notary public should not provide a notary seal on Form I-9.
No. You may designate someone to fill out Forms I-9 for you, such as a personnel officer, foreman, agent, or anyone else acting on your behalf, such as a notary public. Please note that if someone else fills out Form I-9 on your behalf, he or she must carry out full Form I-9 responsibilities. However, you are still liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process.
For example, it is not acceptable for a notary public to view employment authorization and identity documents, but leave Section 2 for you to complete. The person who views an employee’s original documentation should also complete and sign Section 2 on your behalf.