I-9 Forms: How an Immigration Attorney Can Help

When hiring new employees, there are key steps you must take to ensure they are eligible to work in the United States. One of the major ones is completing Form I-9.  This must be completed by both your company and your new hires, and specific forms of identification must be collected from the employees. You can find the acceptable forms of identification in the instructions to the Form I-9.

Failing to complete the Form I-9 or collect the correct information can lead to trouble for your company. An immigration or business attorney can help you understand all the nuances of how to complete, update, and retain of the Form I-9  that get so many employers in hot water with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

What Is a Form I-9?

The Form I-9 became an employment eligibility verification requirement through the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). All employers must complete and retain Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, for every person they hire for employment after Nov. 6, 1986, in the U.S. as long as the person works for pay or another type of payment

To complete Form I-9, employers must review the employees’ identification and other employment authorization documents. They must determine if the documents appear genuine and belong to the employee.

Employers who fail to adhere to the IRCA requirements can face civil and criminal sanctions.

How To Complete The Form I-9

The Form I-9 is made up of three sections. Only the first section is completed by the employee, and you, as the employer, must complete the other two.

Completing Section 1, Employee Information and Attestation

When completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, you, as the employer, must make the complete instructions to the form and the Lists of Acceptable Documents available to newly hired employees. Your employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than their first day of employment.

Completing Section 2, Employer Review and Attestation

Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, within 3 business days of the date of hire of their employee (the hire date means the first day of work for pay). For example, if your employee began work for pay on Monday, you must complete Section 2 by Thursday of that week. If the job lasts less than 3 days, you must complete Section 2 no later than the first day of work for pay.

Completing Section 3, Reverification and Rehires

Employers must complete Section 3 when:

  • Your employee’s employment authorization or documentation of employment authorization has expired (“reverification”).

Employers may complete Section 3 when:

  •  Your employee is rehired within 3 years of the date that Form I-9 was originally completed.
  • Your employee has a legal name change.

When completing Section 3, you must also complete the last name, first name, and middle initial fields in the Employee Info from Section 1 area at the top of Section 2.

When You Might Need an Immigration Attorney To Help

It is always a good idea to consult with an attorney experienced with the Form I-9 to make sure you understand all of the employer and employee requirements. This attorney can help you understand various forms of ID that might be presented by employees for the Form I-9, and be able to verify what is an appropriate document the employer may accept.

If you fail to obtain the required information from the employee and input that information in the right place on the Form I-9,  your company can get into trouble in the event of an audit from Immigration and Custom Enforcement. It’s always a good idea to get help from an immigration attorney.

Why Hire Our Immigration Attorneys

When you need an immigration attorney to help you understand and complete the Form I-9, and get questions answered about it, let the experts at Johnstone Adams LLC represent you. Ranked in the 2023 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list regionally in 12 practice areas, we have experts in many areas of law to give our clients top-notch representation. In business for more than a century, our firm can mix its experience with the ability to evolve with the changing times.

To get started, contact us at 251-319-4659 or info@johnstoneadams.com.

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