Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

COMMON MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM

You should review Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, immediately after completion to avoid these common mistakes.

 In Section 1, common mistakes made by employees include:

  • Employee does not enter name, other last names used (such as maiden name), address or date of birth
  • Employee does not enter A-number/USCIS Number after selecting “A Lawful Permanent Resident.”
  • Employee does not enter A-Number/USCIS Number or Form I-94 admission number after selecting “An alien authorized to work until.”
  • Employee does not sign or date the attestation.
  • Employee does not complete Section 1 by the first day of employment (“date of hire,” meaning the commencement of employment for wages or other remuneration).  
  • Employee does not check one of the boxes indicating that he or she is a citizen or noncitizen national of the U.S., a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work until a specified date—or checks multiple boxes attesting to more than one of the above.
  • Employee does not check the box “I did not use a preparer or translator” (if applicable).

In Section 1, common mistakes made by preparer and/or translator include:

  • The preparer and/or translator for the employee does not check the box “A preparer and/or translator assisted the employee in completing Section 1” (if applicable).
  • Each preparer and/or translator for the employee, if more than one is used, does not complete separate preparer and/or translator certification areas (if applicable).
  • The preparer and/or translator for the employee does not enter his or her name, address or signature in the preparer and/or translator certification box (if applicable).
  • The preparer and/or translator for the employee does not enter the date in the preparer and/or translator certification box (if applicable).

In Section 2, common mistakes made by employers include:

  • Employer does not enter the employee’s last name, first name, middle initial and citizenship/immigration status in the “Employee Info from Section 1” area at the top of Section 2.
  • Employer does not enter acceptable List A document or acceptable List B and List C documents on the form.
  • Employer does not enter the document title, issuing authority, number(s) or expiration date for the documentation presented.
  • Employer does not enter its business title, name or address.
  • Employer does not enter the date employment began (date of hire).
  • Employer or employer’s authorized representative does not sign, date or enter his or her title, last name, or first name in the certification.
  • Employer does not complete Section 2 by the third business day after the date the employee began employment, or, if the employee is hired for 3 business days or less, at the time the employee started employment.

In Section 3, common mistakes made by employers include:

  • Employer does not enter the employee’s last name, first name, and middle initial in the “Employee Name from Section 1” area at the top of Section 3.
  • Employer does not enter the document title, number or expiration date for the acceptable documentation presented.
  • Employer does not enter the date of rehire, if applicable.
  • Employer does not enter the employee’s new name, if applicable.
  • Employer does not sign, date, or enter his or her name in the certification.
  • Employer does not complete Section 3 until after the employee’s work authorization has expired.

General Tips for Completing Form I-9

When completing Form I-9, you should ensure that:

  • The information on the form is clear and can be read.
  • The date entered in Section 2 as the date the employee began employment matches the date in payroll records.
  • Highlighting marks, hole punches and staples do not interfere with an authorized official’s ability to read the information on the form.
  • Copies of the documentation retained with Form I-9 are legible, if copies of documentation are made.
  • Abbreviations used are widely understood. Do not use an abbreviation that is not widely known.
  • All applicable sections of the form are completed.
  • The current version of the Form I-9 is used.
  • The English version of the form is completed, unless the form is being completed in Puerto Rico. The Spanish version is approved for use only in Puerto Rico.
  • Employees are treated in a non-discriminatory manner.
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