I-9 Updates from USCIS

It has been said that the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form is the most complicated two page form the U.S. Government issues. Granted, the form looks simple enough. The law requires employers to verify every new employee’s work authorization. Matters get more complicated in the actual execution and maintenance of the forms for a workforce. Recently, the government also nearly doubled its fine structure for enforcement actions related to this form.

USCIS is trying to help. They issue regular updates, and are constantly updating their M-274 Handbook for Employers. They offer regular training seminars. We also offer immigration legal services for Human Resources Departments on the I-9 employment eligibility issues.

Here is USCIS’s most recent Q&A update on I-9 processes:

How does an employer whose business is open and operational over the weekend count the 3 business days to complete Section 2 of Form I-9 when the human resources office is closed during this time?

Employers are required to complete Form I-9 within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of work for pay. If the business is operational, this counts towards the 3-day time frame for Form I-9 completion.

Must the employer be present while Form I-9 is being completed by the employee?

Form I-9 regulations and statutes do not require an employer to be present when an employee is completing Section 1 of Form I-9. DHS regulations require that a newly hired employee complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment for pay. The examiner of the documents and the employee must both be physically present during the examination of the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents when completing Section 2 of Form I-9. The employer must complete Section 2 of the form no later than the third business day from when the employee starts working for pay.

Can Section 1 be auto-populated in the case of an electronically prepared Form I-9?

Form I-9, Section 1, cannot be auto-populated by an electronic system that collects information during the on-boarding process for a new hire. Only the following fields can be auto-populated in Section 2: Employer’s Business or Organization Name, Employer’s Business or Organization Address (Street Number and Name), City or Town, State, and Zip Code.

In Section 2 of Form I-9, which address should be listed as the employer’s address?

If a company has multiple locations, the person signing Section 2 of Form I-9 should use the local address of the hiring site, not the main address of the parent company or headquarters.

Is a signature stamp acceptable for Section 2 of Form I-9?

No. The employer’s and employee’s handwritten (or electronic, if applicable) signature is required to complete Form I-9.