The hiring manager or appropriate administrator in the hiring department is responsible for completing the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) with each new hire as required by federal law. This form must be signed by the employee on or before the first work day, and the employer section must be completed no later than the third work day, so compliance with this requirement can be challenging. Additional instructions are available for remote hires.
The Checklist for Completing an I-9 provides instructions for this process. You can download the printable version of the checklist and refer to it as needed.
The I-9 Training Presentation is a great tool for on-demand training of hiring managers and administrative support staff who are new to the I-9 process. This PowerPoint presentation gives a general orientation on the purpose of the form and steps for completing it.
The federal government provides an excellent resource for both general and in-depth questions about I-9 compliance. The I-9 Handbook for Employers is an easy-to-navigate PDF document with detailed explanations and illustrations.
Section 1: Employee Information and Verification
To be completed on the first day of work. Earlier is acceptable, but the form cannot be completed before the employee has been hired.
1. Give the employee a Form I-9 including instructions. Ask him/her to complete Section 1 and bring an acceptable combination of documents.
Note: Let the employee choose the documents! Never request specific documents.
2. Check that the employee has completed all fields:
3. Preparer and/or Translator Certification: If someone other than the employee completed Section 1.
Section 2: Employer Review and Verification
To be completed and returned to HR Records no later than the employee’s third work day by an authorized representative of the hiring department. (Contact your supervisor or the HR Contact in your department to find out if you are authorized to sign this section.)
1. Accept the combination of documents presented. Accept only originals and do not ask for or accept more than is required.
2. Record each document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date (if applicable). Use the correct lines according to the key at the far left of the page. Be sure to use the correct column for List A, B, or C.
3. Enter the employment start date (month/day/year). Use the current date, if you are completing the form before the employee's actual first day of work. Do not leave this space blank!
4. Sign and date
Section 3: Updating and Reverification
Only use this section when the employee’s work authorization has changed or has a new expiration date.
1. Make and keep a copy of the completed I-9 and all supporting documents for the employee file.
2. Immediately forward the original I-9 with all supporting documents to:
224 Conference Center Building
Knoxville, TN 37996
1. Employee name does not match the documents provided.
2. The employee does not have a Social Security Number.
3. The employee has a “delay” letter saying he/she has applied for the document(s).
4. The I-9 Form is late.
5. The employee does not provide acceptable documents by the third workday.
6. The employee is dismissed, quits, or stops reporting to work before completing the I-9 process.