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Time to Revisit Your I-9 Requirements


I-9 Requirements with PassionHR

With the new year up and running, now may be a good time to audit some of your HR processes. A good one to start with is your employee I-9 forms. Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States, either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens, with the necessary authorization. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification).


Newly hired employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of work for pay. Employers may have employees complete Form I-9:

  • On the first day of employment; or

  • Before the first day of work, if the employer has offered the individual a job and if the prospective employee has accepted it.

Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within three business days of the employee's first day of work for pay. For example, if the employee started work for pay on Monday, the employer has until Thursday of that week to complete their portion. Employers (or their authorized representatives) must:

  • Ensure that any document the employee presents is on the List of Acceptable Documents or is an acceptable receipt.

  • Physically examine each document to determine if it reasonably appears to be genuine and to relate to the employee presenting it. If the employer rejects a document, he or she should allow the employee to present other documentation from the List of Acceptable Documents.

  • Enter the employee's Last Name, First Name, and Middle Initial (if provided) from Section 1.

  • Record the document title, issuing authority, number(s), and expiration date (if any) from the original document(s) the employee presented.

  • Enter the date the employee began or will begin work for pay.

  • Provide the name, signature, and title of the person completing Section 2 and the date he or she completed Section 2.

  • Record the employer's business name and address. If your company has multiple locations, use the most appropriate address that identifies the employer's location with respect to the employee and his or her Form I-9 completion (e.g., the address where the Form I-9 is completed).

  • Return the documentation presented back to the employee.

Review your I-9 Requirements with PassionHR

Employers must retain/keep an employee's completed Form I-9 for as long as the individual works for the employer. Once the individual's employment has terminated, the employer must keep the Form I-9 until the later of: 

  • 3 years after the date of hire; or 

  • One year after the date employment is terminated.


PassionHR would be honored to review your I-9 forms for you. For more resources, contact PassionHR Consulting today for solid HR advice and guidance.



This guide is not meant to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be considered legal advice. It is provided for general informational purposes only. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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