Loading Guardian Developer...

Please Wait...

Top 10 Most Common Form I-9 Questions

Although Congress is busying itself with hearings on E-Verify, the most pressing issues from our readers appear to be I-9 related.  I’ve compiled the top 10 questions most often asked by our webinar attendees and blog readers. This is a great starting place for many who are new to Form I-9 compliance and a good refresher for more seasoned readers to test your knowledge.  Read on to learn more:

1.     For the new, revised Form I-9 (Rev. 03/18/13 N), can we provide only the two-page form to the employee or must we provide all of the nine pages to the employee?

Employees need access to the actual instructions (pages 1-6) as well as the List of Acceptable Documents (page 9).  Read here for more details.

2.     What do I do if the employee does not have a social security number but I need it to initiate a case in E-Verify?

You’ll have to allow the employee an opportunity to obtain a social security number if he/she does not already possess one.  Read more details here.  (Don’t forget to read the comments in the article for more details.)

3.     How do I complete I-9 verification for employees who are not physically in the office?  Can I use notaries for these remote employees?  If so, how?

For a long time, this question was asked repeatedly and in many different ways.  We finally dedicated one entire blog article to answer this question.  You can read it here.

4.     Who is the issuing authority for the Social Security cards?

Contrary to popular belief, the Social Security Administration is not the only government authority that issued social security cards. Inspect the card that is provided to you in order to find the issuing authority.  Can you name any others?  If so, leave them in our comments section.

5.     How do I correct the Form I-9?  Should I use white-out or colored ink pen?

Watch our past webinar dedicated to answering these precise questions on how to remediate errors on Forms I-9 here.  The short answer is that it depends on what types of error are discovered on the form.  The general rule of thumb is never use white-out!

6.     May I copy Pages 7 and 8 of the Form I-9 as a double-sided (front and back) form?

Yes.  It also helps to save paper.

7.      Do I need to initiate an E-Verify case for an employee that is rehired by my company if we had already initiated an E-verify case for the same employee when he/she was previously hired?

The answer depends on a few different things.  Read here to find out more.

8.     Is it okay for the employee to complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 on a different day than when the employer completes Section 2 of the Form I-9?

This is acceptable.  For more details on when Sections of the Form I-9 should be completed, read this article here.

9.     What if an employee provides a valid List B but invalid List C document, such as a restricted social security card?  How would you request a valid List C document without sounding discriminatory?

A helpful “best practice approach” is to implement a policy that is consistently applied to all employees.  This is where providing the List of Acceptable Documents (page 9) to the employee in advance of them completing Form I-9 is helpful to ensure they understand what document is acceptable on the day they present it for verification.  For more specific instructions tailored to your organization, we recommend partnering with experienced attorneys who can help you craft the right message for various “scenarios.”

10.   Is it okay for someone from HR to be the Preparer/Translator in Section 1 of the Form I-9?

Individuals from Human Resource may act as the Preparer/Translator if they are the ones assisting the employee in Section 1.


For those also curious about E-Verify, there are many issues that have arisen in Congress in which we’ll be providing a detailed webinar in the near future.  Stay tuned….

Human Resources Today