Form I-9 Completion and Maintenance

Cross your t’s, Dot your i’s, and Complete your I-9’s!

An I-9 audit can be an intimidating event. If you have not focused on proper I-9 completion and maintenance it can also be a costly one. Here are some great tips and guidance on how to complete and maintain compliance with your I-9’s.

What are the basic Form I-9 requirements?

  • Employers must complete and retain the From I-9 for every new hire after November 6, 1986.
  • Employers may not knowingly hire or continue to employ a person who is not authorized to work in the United States.
  • Employers must physically see original documents, not copies, however employers may accept a certified copy of birth certificate.
  • Employers may, but are not required to, photocopy the document(s) presented. If photocopies are made, they should be made for ALL new hires or reverifications. Photocopies must be retained and presented with the Form I-9. Employers must always complete Section 2 even if they photocopy an employee’s document(s). Making photocopies of an employee’s document(s) cannot take the place of completing Form I-9.

When must the Form I-9 be completed?

  • The Form I-9 must be completed within three (3) business days of the date employment begins.
  • If the new hire cannot present the necessary documents then that person must provide a receipt for replacement documents within the three (3) business days.
  • If an employee has presented a receipt for a replacement document, they must produce the actual document within ninety (90) days of the date employment begins.

What are the legally acceptable documents that can be used for the Form I-9?

  • The employer is required to verify both identity and authorization to work in the United States.
    Employers cannot specify which document(s) employees may present from the Lists of Acceptable Documents, found on the last page of Form I-9, to establish identity and employment authorization.
    Employees must present one selection from List A OR a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.

What are the rules about retaining the Form I-9’s?

  • Employers must retain each employee’s completed Form I-9 for as long as the individual works for the employer.
  • Employers are required to retain the pages of the form on which the employee and employer enter data.
  • If copies of documentation presented by the employee are made, those copies must also be kept with the form.
  • Once the individual’s employment ends, the employer must retain this form for either 3 years after the date of hire or 1 year after the date employment ended, whichever is later.

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As always, please feel free to reach out to the team with any questions or anything at all we can help with. We are happy to provide HR resources for small businesses.