A quick guide to I-9 Compliance

I-9 Compliance

I-9 regulations require employers to verify the identity of the people they hire. But what are “best practices” for I-9 compliance? Here at Voloshen Law, we have extensive experience with this type of verification. Here are some tips so you can avoid penalties and fines.

I-9 Compliance Requirements

Not only do employers have to complete the I-9 for employees, but they also have to retain those forms for at least 3 years. The US Government can request them for inspection at any time. There is a list of what a person can use to verify their identification. It has three categories, in case you have nothing from the primary paperwork. 

The acceptable primary documents for the I-9 include:

  • Employment authorization card
  • Foreign passport with an I-551 stamp 
  • Permanent resident card
  • U.S. Passport

A satisfactory example of secondary identification is a US driver’s license. Other options are a government ID card with a photograph, address, and gender. School IDs with photographs, voter registration cards, military dependent cards, Native American tribal documents, and US Coast Guard Merchant Mariner documents are also on the list.

The third list notes an unrestricted social security card, proof of birth abroad, U.S. Citizen ID Card, and an authorization document from the DHS (Homeland Department of Security). 

Note: these must be original documents accompanied by the I-9 form completed by both the employee and employer. 

I-9 Compliance 2

What are the Most Common Mistakes in I-9 Compliance?

As full-service immigration law attorneys, we at Voloshen Law review documents diligently to make sure they’re right the FIRST time around. There are a lot of little things that can cause problems with I-9 compliance papers. First and foremost is timing. The employer must complete the first part of the paperwork before the employee begins work. After that, the second part must be finished in 3 days. 

For example, the date must be formatted correctly (in American date format MM/DD/YYYY) The document must be legible. Thankfully, computers resolve much of that problem.

Do not use correction fluid on any printed documents. Follow the proper process for signatures. Check for missing information (it’s easy to overlook something). Finally, use only the English I-9 form. 

Time for a Lawyer?

I-9 compliance forms are updated regularly. It’s our team’s job to stay ahead of those changes for pertinent information. As you see in this article, preparing I-9s gets complicated, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. Voloshen Law would like to offer its services to help you traverse the sea of paperwork while providing legal explanations. 

If you’ve already started the process and hit a wall, we can help with that, too. A review of what you’ve done and a discussion about what’s left should resolve many problems. 
We have offices in Huntingdon Valley, PA, and Boca Raton, FL. You can use our online contact form as a letter of introduction sharing the basics of your problem, or pick up the phone and call (215) 437-7854. Our professionals welcome hearing from you.


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