Self-Audits and Correcting Mistakes
Employers may only correct errors made in Section 2 or Section 3 of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
If you discover an error in Section 1 of an employee’s Form I-9, you should ask your employee to correct the error.
Form I-9 in English
Several versions of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, have been issued since the form was first introduced in 1987. Not all versions are valid for use. To determine whether you are using the correct version of Form I-9, look at the revision date printed on the bottom left corner of the form, and not the expiration date printed at the top of the form.
Currently, only the forms showing the following revision date are valid:
Listed below are the dates Form I-9 was revised. An “N” next to the revision date means that Form I-9 with earlier revision dates can no longer be used to verify employment eligibility. A “Y” next to the revision date means the form is valid until USCIS issues a new form with a revision date containing an “N”.
Rev. 07/17/2017 N*
Rev. 11/14/2016 N
Rev. 03/08/13 N
Rev. 08/07/09 Y
Rev. 02/02/09 N
Rev. 06/16/08 N**
Rev. 06/05/07 N
Rev. 03/26/07 N
Rev. 05/31/05 Y
Rev. 11/21/91 N
* Currently valid version.
** USCIS mistakenly posted a Form I-9 on its website whose revision and expiration dates were updated but to which no changes were made. This incorrect form was posted to the website June 16, 2008, and removed on June 26, 2008.
Form I-9 in Spanish
The Spanish version of Form I-9 can only be completed for official purposes by employers in Puerto Rico. Employers in Puerto Rico complete and keep either the Spanish version or the English version of Form I-9 for their records. Employers in the U.S. which consist of the 50 states and other U.S. territories may use the Spanish version as a translation guide for Spanish-speaking employees, but must complete and keep the English version for their records.
The Spanish Form I-9 has the same revision dates as the English form. Follow the guidelines above to determine if you are using the correct form.
Form I-9 CNMI
From Nov. 28, 2009 until Nov. 27, 2011, employers hiring individuals for employment in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) used Form I-9 CNMI to verify the identity and employment authorization of each newly hired employee. On Nov. 28, 2011, CNMI employers began using the standard Form I-9.
Two versions of Form I-9 CNMI were acceptable for use during that time. They can be identified by their revision dates, noted on the bottom right-hand corner of the form:
Rev. 6/27/10 Y
To correct the form:
- Draw a line through the incorrect information.
- Enter the correct information.
- Initial and date the correction.
To correct multiple, recording errors on the form, you may redo the section on a new Form I-9 and attach it to the old form. A new Form I-9 can also be completed if major errors (such as entire sections being left blank or Section 2 being completed based on unacceptable documents) need to be corrected. A note should be included in the file regarding the reason you made changes to an existing Form I-9 or completed a new Form I-9.
Be sure not to conceal any changes made on the form (other than simple notation errors when copying document information). Doing so may lead to increased liability under federal immigration law.
If you have made changes on a Form I-9 using correction fluid, we recommend that you attach a signed and dated note to the corrected Forms I-9 explaining what happened.
U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement and the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) have provided joint guidance to help employers perform internal audits. Audits allow employers to ensure Forms I-9 have been completed correctly, and to make corrections if errors are found. Learn more about Guidance for Employers Conducting Internal Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 Audits.
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.