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Form I-9: How, When and By Whom Does It Need to Be Completed

by | Aug 13, 2021 | I-9 and E-Verify, Immigration

This is my third in a series of posts promoting the publication of my new book: I-9 Verification Employment eGuide for HR professionals. This free guide covers everything that busy HR pros need to know to walk them through the I-9 verification process without running afoul of common problems.

These blog posts cover the first chapter of the book, “Top 10 Questions from Employers About I-9s.” In the first post, I examined the top mistakes that employers make in the I-9 process, and in the second, I discussed whether or not an employer needs to reverify an expiring “green card.”

Below, we’re going to dig into the specifics of understanding both how to complete the Form I-9 and the timeline for this important document. 

Form I-9 for the Employee

A new hire must return their Form I-9 no later than the first date of hire. They should fully complete section 1 and verify that everything is accurate. Once they submit the form, the employer takes over the I-9 process.

Form I-9 for the Employer

Once an employer has received a new hire’s paperwork, they will complete Form I-9. First, they must physically examine the documents provided by the employee as evidence of identity and work authorization. 

The goal of this examination is to ensure the employee is who they say they are. Once the employer is confident the I-9 information is genuine, they will proceed to Section 2 of the form. 

Form I-9 Timeline

Once the employee’s information is verified, the employer must complete Section 2 within three business days of the date of hire. Here is an example timeline for completion:

  • An employee begins work on a Monday
  • The employer has until Thursday of that week to complete the Form I-9 

This is actually called the Monday-Thursday Rule.

After the Form I-9 Is Completed

Lastly, the employer must retain the completed Form I-9 and any supporting documents for the required retention period. 

Section 3 must be completed by the employer on the date of rehire. It’s also important to note that in the case of re-verification, Section 3 must be completed before the work authorization expires.

A correctly completed and filed Form I-9 is an important task for both the employee and the employer to avoid running afoul of laws and regulations.

Learn far more detailed information about the entire I-9 verification process by downloading my new eguide now.

Next week, we will share the answer to the fourth question from Chapter 1: what are the retention requirements for the Form I-9?



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