FAQ’s About Form I-9 – Preparing for Success

16 Jan FAQ’s About Form I-9 – Preparing for Success

FAQ’s About Form I-9 – Preparing for Success

Question & Answer

Q1: What if a newly-hired employee cannot come up with proper identification for the Form I-9? For example, he presents an expired ID. Can we still have him work or should we let him go?

A: You are correct that you may not accept an expired ID when completing Section 2 of the I-9. And unless the employee has presented enough other documentation for completion of Section 2, you’ll need to let him know that he has not established work authorization to be able to work.

Show him the I-9 List of Acceptable Documents and ask him to provide alternate documentation or a valid receipt for a replacement document. Be sure not to specify which documents on the list he needs to provide, as this must be the employee’s decision.

As you’re aware, the I-9 must be completed within three business days of the employee’s date of hire. If he fails to bring acceptable documentation within that timeframe, you should either terminate his employment or put him on an unpaid leave of absence for a defined and communicated length of time (e.g., 10 days) pending his presentation of proper documents.

Q2: Do Remote Employees Need to Provide Original Documentation?

A: Yes. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that all documents for completion of the I-9 be viewed in their original format, meaning that a fax or scan is not acceptable. Skype is also not acceptable. The original documents must be in-hand of the company representative who is signing the I-9 and reviewed in the presence of the employee.

For remote employees, this requirement presents obvious difficulties, but the employer is responsible for ensuring that any authorized representative properly completes Section 2.

Q3: How Long Should We Store an I-9?

A: Form I-9s should be retained for the full length of an individual’s employment with you. Then, after employment has ended, they must be stored for 3 years after the date of hire, or 1 year after the date of termination, whichever date is later.

Once an I-9 is past its retention period, you may destroy it. We recommend a secure shredding company to ensure proper disposal and that documents related to an employee’s identity are secure.


All information was written by Alliance Payroll Services and published in their January 2017 HR Advisor monthly newsletter.