Form I-9 Tips from USCIS and ICE

The Verification Division of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations have offered some practical tips and clarifications regarding the completion of Form I-9.

Pre-Population of Employee Information in Section 1 of the Form I-9. For employers who use electronic I-9 systems, particularly those systems integrated with other human resources software, Immigration and Customs Enforcement warns that pre-population of Section 1 of the Form I-9 is not permissible, even if the employee provided the original information that is pre-populated. An electronic I-9 program that pre-populates any employee information in Section 1 exposes the employer to a Form I-9 violation.

Mistaken Use of Expired Form I-9. Employers were required to start using the new Form I-9 beginning May 7. If an employer mistakenly used an older version of the Form I-9 on or after May 7, it is a technical violation which the employer can correct by either executing a new Form I-9 using the current form or by attaching an acknowledgement and explanation of the reason for the error.

Full Instructions Required. Employers must provide employees with the full set of instructions for the Form I-9 – instructions for both the employee and employer portions of the form. Employers may not restate or reformat the Form I-9 instructions.

Using “N/A.” The new Form I-9 has optional fields for the employee’s telephone number and email address. If the employee chooses not to provide the information, employers should write “N/A” in the empty fields and any other field in Sections 1 and 2 where there is no applicable information.

Use New Form for Reverification. Employers may not use Section 3 of an outdated Form I-9 for reverification. Employers must use Section 3 of a valid Form I-9 for all reverifications.

Employees with New Identities. Employers should establish a policy of how to address the situation when an employee comes forward with a new identity. The USCIS recommends that the employee and employer complete a new Form I-9 and, if enrolled in E-Verify, submit a query through the E-Verify system. In the alternative, employers may update the existing Form I-9 with the new identity information. Employers should apply the policy consistently.