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4.0 Completing Section 2 of Form I-9

Within three business days of the date employment begins, the employee must present an original document or documents (or an acceptable receipt) to you or your authorized representative that shows the employee’s identity and employment authorization. For example, if an employee begins employment on Monday, you must review the employee’s documentation and complete Section 2 on or before Thursday of that week. However, if you hire someone for less than three business days, you must complete Section 2 no later than the first day of employment. You must allow the employee to choose which document(s) the employee will present from the Form I-9 Lists of Acceptable Documents. You cannot specify which document(s) an employee will present from the list.

Physically examine each original document from the employee to determine if the document reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the person presenting it. You or your authorized representative must examine these documents in the physical presence of the employee presenting them. Examine one document selected from List A or a combination of one document selected from List B and one document selected from List C. If an employee presents a List A document, do not ask or require the employee to present List B or List C documents. If an employee presents List B and List C documents, do not ask or require the employee to present a List A document. If you participate in E-Verify, and the employee presents a combination of List B and List C documents, then the List B document must contain a photograph. For more information, visit e-verify.gov (PDF).

Certain Social Security cards are restricted and not acceptable List C documents if the card contains:

  • VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION
  • NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT
  • VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION

If your employee presents a restricted Social Security card, ask the employee to provide a different document from List C or a document from List A.

You must accept any document(s) from the Lists of Acceptable Documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them. You may terminate an employee who fails to present an acceptable document or documents (or an acceptable receipt for a document) within three business days of the date employment begins. If you fail to properly complete Form I-9, you risk violating section 274A of the INA and are subject to civil money penalties.

Enter the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date (if any) in Section 2 using information from the original documents the employee presented. If you choose to make copies of the documents, you must do so for all employees, regardless of national origin or citizenship status, or you may violate anti-discrimination laws. However, if you participate in E-Verify and the employee presents a U.S. passport, passport card, Permanent Resident Card (also called a Green Card) or Employment Authorization Card, you must retain a copy of it with Form I-9. Return the original documents to your employee.The same person who examined the employee’s documents must also complete the fields in the certification block

, then sign and date Section 2, as shown in the figures below.

Figure 2: Section 2: Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification

M-274 Infographic titled Section 2: Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification. Infographic shows completed Section 2 as well as numbers that correlate to the instructions that follow.
At the top of Section 2, enter the employee’s last name, first name, and middle initial exactly as it appears in Section 1. Enter the number that correlates with the citizenship or immigration status box the employee selected in Section 1.
 
Enter the document title, issuing authority, document number, and the expiration date from the original documents the employee presented. You may use either common abbreviations for the document title or issuing authority, for example, “DL” for driver’s license and “SSA” for Social Security Administration, or the suggestions in the form instructions.

The “Additional Information” space is for Form I-9 notes, such as:

  • Notations that describe extensions of employment authorization or a document’s expiration date for individuals in certain nonimmigrant categories or granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). For more information, see Section 4.4, Automatic Extensions of Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) in Certain Circumstances, and Section 6, Evidence of Status for Certain Categories.
  • Information from additional documents that F-1 or J-1 nonimmigrant employees may present including the Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVIS) number and the program end date from Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, or DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, as required.
  • Replacement document information if a receipt was previously presented.
  • Discrepancies that E-Verify participants must notate when participating in the IMAGE program.
  • Any other optional comments or notations necessary for your business process, such as employee termination dates, form retention dates, and E-Verify case verification numbers.
Enter the first day of employment for wages or other remuneration in the space for “The employee’s first day of employment (mm/dd/yyyy).” Recruiters and referrers for a fee do not enter the employee’s first day of employment.

Staffing agencies may choose to use either the date an employee is assigned to the employee’s first job or the date the new employee is entered into the assignment pool as the first day of employment.

The employer or authorized representative signs and dates Section 2 in the spaces provided to attest to physically examining the documents the employee presented.  Also enter title, last name, first name, and the employer’s business or organization name.
 
Enter the business’s street address, city or town, state and ZIP code.