In today’s article we deal with common I-9 errors made by employers while filing the form. The USCIS page for I-9, I-9 Central has identified certain errors commonly made which if the employee/employer are aware of, can be careful while filling the form and thus reduce faulty I-9s and repercussions thereof.

In Section 1, common mistakes made by the employee include:

  • No employee printed name, maiden name (if applicable), address or date of birth.
  • No “A” number for an employee who selects “A Lawful Permanent Resident.”
  • No “A” number or admission number for an employee who selects “An alien authorized to work until.”
  • No employee signature or attestation date.
  • Not completing Section 1 by the time the employee began work for pay.
  • Not checking a box to indicate whether the employee is attesting to be a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work until a specified date—or checking multiple boxes attesting to more than one of the above.
  • No preparer and/or translator name, address or signature (if applicable).
  • No date in the preparer and/or translator certification box (if applicable).

In Section 2, common mistakes made by the employer include:

  • No acceptable List A document or acceptable List B and List C documents recorded on the form.
  • No document title, issuing authority, number(s) or expiration date for the documentation presented.
  • No business title, name or address.
  • No date for when employment began.
  • No employer signature, printed name or attestation date.
  • Not completing Section 2 by the third business day after the date the employee started work for pay, or, if the employee is hired for three business days or less, at the time the employee started work for pay.

In Section 3, common mistakes made by the employer include:

  • No document title, number or expiration date for the acceptable documentation presented.
  • No date of rehire, if applicable.
  • No new name, if applicable.
  • No employer signature or date.
  • Completing section 3 after the employee’s work authorization expired.

Employers should be careful while filing their I-9s that it is not only complete but been filled without any mistakes. I-9 audits are being increasingly being taken up by the Trump government and the recent months have seen a spate of fines being issued by Department of Justice for I-9 discrimination or incomplete I-9s. Employers are reminded that the government continues to utilize I-9 audits as an enforcement tool and they should seek immigration counsel immediately upon receipt of any notification requesting immigration documents.

Employers may only correct errors made in Section 2 or Section 3 of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

If you discover an error in Section 1 of an employee’s Form I-9, you should ask your employee to correct the error.

To correct the form:

  • Draw a line through the incorrect information.
  • Enter the correct information.
  • Initial and date the correction.

To correct multiple, recording errors on the form, you may redo the section on a new Form I-9 and attach it to the old form. A new Form I-9 can also be completed if major errors (such as entire sections being left blank or Section 2 being completed based on unacceptable documents) need to be corrected. A note should be included in the file regarding the reason you made changes to an existing Form I-9 or completed a new Form I-9.

Be sure not to conceal any changes made on the form (other than simple notation errors when copying document information). Doing so may lead to increased liability under federal immigration law.

If you have made changes on a Form I-9 using correction fluid, we recommend that you attach a signed and dated note to the corrected Forms I-9 explaining what happened.

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement and the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER) have provided joint guidance to help employers perform internal audits. Audits allow employers to ensure Forms I-9 have been completed correctly, and to make corrections if errors are found.

EMPTrust provides comprehensive I-9 and E-Verify solutions that help companies comply with federal and state regulations.

Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Any issues regarding compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations should be addressed through your legal department or outside counsel.