Handbook for Employers

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Instructions  for Completing Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form)

You must complete Form I-9 each time you hire any person to perform labor or services in the United States in return for wages or other remuneration. Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services, including food and lodging. The requirement to complete Form I-9 applies to new employees hired in the United States after Nov. 6, 1986, as well as new employees hired in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) on or after Nov. 28, 2009.

Ensure the employee completes Section 1 of Form I-9 at the time of hire. “Hire” means the beginning of employment in exchange for wages or other remuneration. The time of hire is noted on the form as the first day of employment. Employees may complete Section 1 before the time of hire, but not before the employer extends the job offer and the employee accepts. Review the employee’s document(s) and fully complete Section 2 within three business days of the hire. For example, if the employee begins employment on Monday, you must complete Section 2 by Thursday.

You may designate, hire, or contract with any person you choose to complete, update or make corrections to Section 2 or 3 on your behalf. This person is known as your authorized representative. The authorized representative must perform all the employer duties described in this handbook, and complete, sign and date Section 2 or 3 on your behalf. You are liable for any violations in connection with the form or the verification process, including any violations of the employer sanctions laws, committed by your authorized representative.

Employees cannot act as authorized representatives for their own Form I-9. Therefore, employees cannot complete, update or make corrections to Section 2 or 3 for themselves or attest to the authenticity of the documentation they present.

If an employee will work for less than three business days, Sections 1 and 2 must be fully completed at the time of hire (in other words, by the first day of employment).

Do not complete Form I-9 for employees who are:

  • Hired on or before Nov. 6, 1986 (or on or before Nov. 27, 2009, in the CNMI), who are continuing in their employment and have a reasonable expectation of employment at all times;
  • Employed for casual domestic work in a private home on a sporadic, irregular, or intermittent basis;
  • Independent contractors;
  • Employed by a contractor providing contract services (such as employee leasing or temporary agencies) and are providing labor to you; or
  • Not physically working on U.S. soil.

If you are self-employed, you do not need to complete Form I-9 on your own behalf unless you are an employee of a separate business entity, such as a corporation or partnership. In that case, you and any other employees must complete Form I-9.

You cannot hire an individual who you know is not authorized to work in the United States.