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Step-by-Step Guide: How to Fill Out the I-9 Form Correctly

Step-by-Step Guide How to Fill Out the I-9 Form Correctly

Step-by-Step Guide How to Fill Out the I-9 Form Correctly

When it comes to hiring new employees, one of the most important forms that employers need to fill out is the I-9 form. This form, issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.

It is crucial for employers to understand how to correctly fill out the I-9 form to ensure compliance with federal regulations and avoid potential penalties. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of filling out the I-9 form accurately and efficiently.

Step 1: Obtain the I-9 Form

The first step is to obtain the most current version of the I-9 form. You can download the form from the USCIS website or request a hard copy from your local USCIS office. Make sure you are using the correct version of the form, as older versions may not be accepted.

Step 2: Provide Basic Information

Start by filling out the basic information section of the I-9 form. This includes the employee’s full name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number. Ensure that all information is accurate and legible.

Step 3: Verify Identity and Employment Authorization

The next step is to verify the employee’s identity and employment authorization. The employee must provide documents from the list of acceptable documents provided on the I-9 form. These documents can include a passport, driver’s license, or Social Security card, among others. Carefully examine the documents to ensure they are valid and match the information provided by the employee.

Step 4: Complete the Employer’s Review and Verification

Once the employee has provided the necessary documents, the employer must complete the employer’s review and verification section of the I-9 form. This includes reviewing the documents, recording the document information on the form, and signing and dating the form. Make sure to complete this section within the required timeframe, which is generally within three business days of the employee’s first day of work.

Step 5: Retain and Store the I-9 Form

Finally, employers must retain and store the completed I-9 forms for a specified period of time. It is important to keep the forms separate from an employee’s personnel file and ensure they are easily accessible for inspection by authorized government officials. The retention period for I-9 forms is either three years after the date of hire or one year after the date of termination, whichever is later.

By following these steps and accurately filling out the I-9 form, employers can ensure compliance with immigration laws and maintain a record of their employees’ eligibility to work in the United States.

Section 1: Understanding the I-9 Form

Section 1: Understanding the I-9 Form

The I-9 Form is a crucial document that employers must have all new employees fill out in order to verify their identity and eligibility to work in the United States. It is a legal requirement and failure to comply can result in penalties for the employer.

The form is divided into three sections, each with its own purpose and requirements. This guide will focus on Section 1, which is completed by the employee.

Section 1 of the I-9 Form is designed to collect basic information about the employee. It must be filled out by the employee on or before their first day of work. Here’s how to fill out Section 1:

  1. Employee Information: The employee should provide their full legal name, including any other names used, such as a maiden name or an alias. They should also provide their date of birth, social security number (if applicable), and their current address.
  2. Preparer and/or Translator: If the employee had assistance in completing the form, such as a translator or preparer, their information should be filled out in this section.
  3. Signature and Date: The employee must sign and date the form, indicating that the information provided is true and accurate.

It is important for employees to fill out Section 1 accurately and honestly. Providing false information on the form can have serious consequences, including legal penalties and potential job loss.

Once Section 1 is completed, the employer will proceed to fill out Section 2 of the I-9 Form. This section requires the employer to examine the employee’s identification documents and verify their authenticity. Section 3, if applicable, is used for re-verifying employment authorization or updating information.

Understanding the I-9 Form and how to fill it out correctly is essential for both employers and employees. It ensures compliance with immigration laws and helps maintain a legal and authorized workforce.

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Purpose of the I-9 Form

Purpose of the I-9 Form

The I-9 form is an important document that employers must fill out to verify the identity and employment eligibility of individuals they hire. The purpose of the I-9 form is to ensure that employers are hiring individuals who are authorized to work in the United States.

By completing the I-9 form, employers are able to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. This helps to prevent the hiring of individuals who are not authorized to work in the country, which can result in penalties and legal consequences for the employer.

Employers are required by law to fill out the I-9 form for each new employee within three days of the employee’s start date. The form requires employers to examine the employee’s identification documents and record the information on the form. This includes documents such as a passport, driver’s license, or social security card.

The purpose of this process is to ensure that the employee is legally allowed to work in the United States and that they have provided valid documentation to prove their identity and employment eligibility.

By completing the I-9 form correctly, employers can demonstrate their compliance with federal immigration laws and help maintain a legal and authorized workforce. It is important for employers to understand how to fill out the I-9 form correctly to avoid any potential legal issues.

Who Needs to Complete the I-9 Form

Who Needs to Complete the I-9 Form

All employers in the United States are required by law to complete an I-9 form for each employee they hire. The I-9 form is used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of individuals.

Both employees and employers have specific responsibilities when it comes to filling out the I-9 form. Employees must provide certain documents to prove their identity and eligibility to work in the United States, while employers must review and verify these documents.

It is important to note that the I-9 form must be completed for all employees, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. This means that both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens must fill out the form.

Employees must fill out Section 1 of the I-9 form on or before their first day of employment. This section requires employees to provide their full legal name, date of birth, social security number (if applicable), and other personal information. Employees must also indicate their citizenship or immigration status and provide the necessary documents to support their status.

Employers, on the other hand, are responsible for completing Section 2 of the I-9 form. This section requires employers to physically examine the employee’s documents and verify that they are genuine and relate to the employee presenting them. Employers must record the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date (if applicable) on the form.

It is important for employers to ensure that they are completing the I-9 form correctly and in a timely manner. Failure to comply with the I-9 requirements can result in serious penalties, including fines and other legal consequences.

Overall, both employees and employers have important roles to play in filling out the I-9 form. By understanding the requirements and following the proper procedures, employers can ensure compliance with the law and maintain a legal workforce.

Importance of Accurate Completion

Importance of Accurate Completion

Filling out Form I-9 correctly is essential for both employers and employees. Here are a few reasons why accurate completion of the form is important:

  • Compliance with the law: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees by completing Form I-9. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in severe penalties and fines for employers.
  • Protection against discrimination: By following the proper procedures outlined in Form I-9, employers can ensure that they are treating all employees fairly and avoiding any potential discrimination claims based on immigration status or national origin.
  • Prevention of unauthorized employment: Form I-9 helps to prevent the hiring of individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States. By carefully reviewing and verifying the documents presented by employees, employers can reduce the risk of employing unauthorized workers.
  • Establishment of a record: Completing Form I-9 creates a record of an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States. This record can be used as evidence in case of any future audits or investigations by government agencies.
  • Peace of mind: By accurately completing Form I-9, both employers and employees can have peace of mind knowing that they have followed the proper procedures and are in compliance with the law.
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Overall, accurate completion of Form I-9 is crucial for maintaining legal compliance, promoting fairness, preventing unauthorized employment, and establishing a record of eligibility to work. It is important for employers and employees to understand how to fill out the form correctly to avoid any potential issues or penalties.

Section 2: Gathering the Required Documentation

Section 2: Gathering the Required Documentation

After filling out Section 1 of the I-9 form, it is now time to move on to Section 2. This section requires you to gather the necessary documentation to verify the identity and employment eligibility of the employee.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to gather the required documentation:

  1. Review the List of Acceptable Documents: The USCIS provides a list of acceptable documents that can be used to prove identity and employment eligibility. Make sure to familiarize yourself with this list before proceeding.
  2. Ask the Employee to Provide the Documents: Inform the employee that they need to provide the required documents. It is important to note that the employee must choose which documents to present; you cannot specify which documents they should provide.
  3. Examine the Documents: Once the employee provides the documents, carefully examine them to ensure they are valid and unexpired. Check that the documents reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the individual presenting them.
  4. Record the Information: In Section 2 of the I-9 form, record the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date (if applicable) for each document presented by the employee.
  5. Complete the Employer Review and Attestation: After recording the information, the employer must complete the employer review and attestation section. This includes providing the employer’s name, title, signature, and the date of completion.

It is important to remember that employers must not specify which documents an employee should provide. The employee has the right to choose which documents to present as long as they are on the list of acceptable documents provided by the USCIS.

Additionally, it is crucial to ensure that the documents provided by the employee are genuine and relate to the individual presenting them. Employers should be diligent in examining the documents to prevent any potential fraudulent activity.

List of Acceptable Documents
Document Type Issuing Authority Document Number Expiration Date (if applicable)
U.S. Passport Department of State xxxxxxxxx None
Permanent Resident Card USCIS xxxxxxxxx None
Driver’s License State Department of Motor Vehicles xxxxxxxxx None
Social Security Card Social Security Administration xxxxxxxxx None

By following these steps and ensuring that the employee provides valid and unexpired documents, you can accurately complete Section 2 of the I-9 form.

List of Acceptable Documents

List of Acceptable Documents

When filling out the I-9 form, you will need to provide documentation to prove your identity and eligibility to work in the United States. The following is a list of acceptable documents that you can use:

  • List A: Documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility
  • List B: Documents that establish identity
  • List C: Documents that establish employment eligibility

Here are some examples of documents that you can use:

List A List B List C
  • U.S. Passport or Passport Card
  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A
  • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States
  • ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities
  • School ID card with a photograph
  • Voter registration card
  • Social Security Account Number card (not laminated)
  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545)
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal
  • Native American tribal document

Remember, you will need to provide either one document from List A or a combination of one document from List B and one document from List C. Make sure that the documents you provide are unexpired and in their original form.

How to Determine Which Documents to Provide

How to Determine Which Documents to Provide

When filling out the I-9 form, it is important to provide the appropriate documents to establish your identity and work eligibility. The form requires you to present one document from List A or a combination of one document from List B and one document from List C.

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List A documents establish both identity and work eligibility. These documents include:

  • United States Passport
  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport with I-551 stamp
  • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
  • Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI

List B documents establish identity only and include:

  • Driver’s license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States
  • Identification card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities
  • School ID card with a photograph
  • Voter’s registration card
  • U.S. Military card or draft record

List C documents establish work eligibility only and include:

  • Social Security Account Number card (without restrictions)
  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545)
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal
  • Native American tribal document
  • U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)

It is important to carefully review the instructions on the I-9 form to determine which documents are acceptable and to ensure that you provide the correct combination of documents to establish your identity and work eligibility.

Tips for Verifying Documents

Tips for Verifying Documents

When filling out the I-9 form, it is important to carefully verify the documents provided by the employee to ensure their eligibility to work in the United States. Here are some tips to help you verify documents:

  • Review the document list: Familiarize yourself with the list of acceptable documents provided on the last page of the I-9 form. This will help you identify which documents are valid for verification.
  • Examine the documents: Carefully examine each document presented by the employee. Look for any signs of tampering, such as altered dates or information, or the use of correction fluid or tape.
  • Check for expiration dates: Ensure that the documents presented have not expired. Certain documents, such as passports and employment authorization cards, have expiration dates that must be valid at the time of verification.
  • Compare information: Verify that the information on the documents matches the information provided by the employee in Section 1 of the I-9 form. Pay attention to details such as names, dates of birth, and identification numbers.
  • Look for authenticity features: Many documents, such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards, have security features that can help you determine their authenticity. Familiarize yourself with these features and check for them during the verification process.

Remember, it is important to follow the guidelines provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when verifying documents. If you have any doubts or questions about a document, consult the USCIS Handbook for Employers or seek advice from an immigration attorney.

FAQ about topic Step-by-Step Guide: How to Fill Out the I-9 Form Correctly

What is the purpose of the I-9 form?

The purpose of the I-9 form is to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.

Who is required to complete the I-9 form?

All employers in the United States are required to complete the I-9 form for every employee hired after November 6, 1986.

What documents are acceptable for completing the I-9 form?

There are three lists of acceptable documents on the I-9 form. List A documents establish both identity and employment authorization, List B documents establish identity only, and List C documents establish employment authorization only. Examples of acceptable documents include a U.S. passport, a driver’s license, and a Social Security card.

What happens if an employer does not complete the I-9 form correctly?

If an employer does not complete the I-9 form correctly or fails to retain the form for the required period, they may be subject to civil and criminal penalties. It is important for employers to carefully follow the instructions and guidelines provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when completing the form.

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