Common Form I9 Errors and How to Avoid Them

The Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. It is mandatory for new hires from organizations of all sizes. Here are 14 common errors that can occur when completing Form I-9 and how to avoid them:

  1. Failure to complete all required fields: It’s important to ensure that all sections of the Form I-9 are completed accurately and in their entirety. Double-check that no fields are left blank.
  2. Employee does not sign or date the attestation.
  3. Using an outdated version of the form. USCIS periodically updates the Form I-9, and using an outdated version can lead to errors. To avoid this, always check for the most recent version of the form. Visit the USCIS website to check on the latest version.
  4. Failure to provide the employee’s full legal name. When completing Section 1 of the Form I-9, employees must provide their full legal name, including any middle names or initials. Nicknames or abbreviations should not be used. Use the name identified on official government documents (i.e. driver’s license, social security card …)
  5. Employee does not check the box “I did not use a preparer or translator.”
  6. Incorrectly documenting employment eligibility or expiration dates. In Section 1, employees must indicate their employment eligibility category (e.g., U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, etc.) and provide the expiration date of their employment authorization if applicable. Sometimes employees put their date of birth by accident.
  7. Employer using a P.O. Box for an address – it must be a physical address.
  8. Employer does not enter the employee’s last name, first name, middle initial and citizenship/immigration status in the “Employee Info from Section 1” area at the top of Section 2.
  9. Accepting unacceptable documents. Employers must carefully review and accept only acceptable documents for verification purposes. Review each section of List A, List B, and List C for acceptable documents.
  10. Failure to properly complete Section 2 or Section 3 by the employer. Employers must complete Section 2 within three business days of the employee’s first day of work. Ensure that all fields are completed accurately, including the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date.
  11. Improperly retaining or storing completed forms. Employers must retain the completed Form I-9 for each employee for a specific period as per the guidelines provided by USCIS. Documents may be retained as physical copies or in electronic format.
  12. Highlighting marks, hole punches and staples are ok, if they do not interfere with an authorized official’s ability to read the information on the form.
  13. Using abbreviations that are not widely understood.
  14. Information on the I9 form is too messy, not clear and cannot be read.

Read more tips from the US Citizen and Immigration Services. If your organization needs an independent third party I9 audit or immigration review contact Consultstu at (727) 350-0370, or [email protected]. We have completed many independent third-party immigration reviews for companies seeking to become Publix vendors and suppliers.

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