A Quick Reference to Clarify the I-9 Re-Verification Process

December 10, 2008 § 2 Comments

Many people are confused by the I-9 re-verification process. We’ve received numerous questions regarding this issue, including one recently, Can you assist us with gathering a clearer understanding on the overall I-9 re-verification process? Do you know of any resources and/or tools that would be beneficial to our HR Department to refer to as a guideline?”

 

To answer this question, generally, the employer is required to re-verify the I-9 in one of three circumstances: 

  1. When the employee indicates in the attestation box in Section 1 that their employment authorization will expire; 
  2. When the employee presents a document that satisfies the requirements for Section 2, but the document indicates that the employee has limited employment authorization; or 
  3. When the employee presents a receipt for an original document.  (Please note that “receipt” is a term of art and the employer may only accept a receipt for an original document in very specific circumstances.) 

To re-verify the employee, a new I-9 must be completed.  There are numerous restrictions on Section 3 and since employers always have the right to complete a new I-9 instead of using Section 3, we typically advise employers to fill-out a new I-9 and keep the employee’s I-9 forms together.  Please note that you should not re-verify identity (list B) documents when they expire.

 

It is also advisable to develop a tickler system that would notify you 150 days prior to the expiration of the employee’s work authorization.  It is important to send a written reminder of the approaching expiration date to the employee.  Employers should keep a copy of the notification with the employee’s I-9 form and supporting documentation.  The reminder system should also notify you on the day the employee’s authorization expires, as you cannot continue to employ a person who does not have employment authorization. 

There is a link to the M-274, I-9 Handbook for Employers, on the left hand side of our Immigration bLAWg.  The I-9 Handbook is a good resource to start with. 

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§ 2 Responses to A Quick Reference to Clarify the I-9 Re-Verification Process

  • Alycia Long says:

    Two questions:

    1) What are the reasons for reverification of a long term employee?

    2) In the event you administer a company self audit, and find that a long term employee’s I9 is out of compliance due to a name change, what are the steps to correction?

    • goffwilson says:

      1) What are the reasons for reverification of a long term employee?

      An employee must be reverified only if his/her employment authorization expires. In most cases, if an acceptable document is valid on the day it is presented, then it fulfills the I-9 requirement and there is no requirement for employers to update the I-9 even if that document subsequently expires. For example, if a U.S. Passport is valid on the day the I-9 is completed, but subsequently expires, there is no need to reverify. List B documents do not need to be reverified.

      There are specific situations when an employer must reverify an employee’s work authorization. When an employer reverifies an employee it is the employee’s work authorization that is reverified and not the document presented. When an employee first completes the I-9 form, the employer should review it carefully and note if the employee’s work authorization will expire.

      • In Section 1, note if there is an expiration date listed in the “…alien authorized to work until _________” portion of the attestation. If so, then this individual will need to show you evidence of continued work authorization prior to the date they listed in Section 1.
      • In Section 2, note whether the employee has presented a document that indicates a date when work authorization will end. Documents that have work authorization expiration dates include Employment Authorization Documents and some I-94 cards.

      If you note that an employee’s work authorization will expire, set a reminder for yourself to reverify the employee before their authorization expires. Typically, we advise employers to contact employees and alert them of the expiration of their work authorization 120 days in advance of that date. This should allow employees enough time to procure and present evidence of continued authorization.

      2) In the event you administer a company self audit, and find that a long term employee’s I9 is out of compliance due to a name change, what are the steps to correction?

      You are not required to record an employee’s name change on the I-9. If you wish to do so, you can use the Section 3 of their original I-9 form by writing in the new name and signing and dating the form. The employee does not have to sign the form.

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