HOW TO FILL OUT I9: How To Fill Out I9 Section 2

HOW TO FILL OUT I9: How To Fill Out I9 Section 2
HOW TO FILL OUT I9: How To Fill Out I9 Section 2

In this article, you will learn how to fill out I9 Section 2. Form I-9 is used to verify a new employee’s identity and work authorization.  Employers must ensure that each employee properly completes an I-9 at the time of hire.

How To Fill Out Form I9 For Remote Workers

Employers are usually required to inspect Section 2 documents in the employee’s physical presence.  Viewing or verifying documents using a webcam or any other remote means are generally not permitted (see Limited Exceptions Due to COVID-19 below). 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers typically either asked the new employee to come to work for this purpose, or the employer appointed an authorized representative, such as an attorney or notary public, to complete Section 2 on behalf of the company.

If you appoint an authorized representative, state law may limit who can complete the I-9 on your behalf.  For example, the State of California provides such services only to licensed attorneys, persons authorized under federal law to provide immigration services, and persons qualified and qualified as immigration consultants under state law. 

Employers should also remember that they are ultimately responsible for any I-9 violations.  When completing Section 2, the employer or authorized representative must verify (in the employee’s physical presence) each document presented to determine whether it reasonably appears to be genuine and relates to the employee providing it. 

When verifying documents, employers should consider safety measures to protect both parties from COVID-19, such as medical screenings, physical distancing, and masks, taking into account federal, state, and local health regulations.

ALSO CHECK: FORM 945: Instructions On How To File Form 945 “

How To Fill Out I9 With Social Security Card

Unless the social security card says “NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT” or “VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION”.  Social Security cards with any of these statements do not establish eligibility for employment and should not be accepted as proof of work authorization. 

If a person states that they are currently authorized to work, they must visit their local Social Security office with proof of legal employment to apply for an unrestricted Social Security card

The employer must also see proof of work authorization, such as a US Social Security card (a Social Security card marked “Invalid for Employment” will not be accepted), a birth certificate proving birth in the US.

It could be a valid immigration document proving employment authorization such as an employment authorization card or H-1 or other work visa approval notice.

ALSO CHECK: Form 8824: Corporation Exchange

How To Fill Out I9 With Passport

Form I-9 consists of three parts:

Part I: For the Employee, Establishing Identity

This part of the form is filled out by the employee.  It includes information such as the employee’s full name, address, date of birth, social security number (if applicable), email address, and phone number.

This part is also used to certify—under penalty of perjury—that a person has a legal right to work in the United States because he or she is:

  • Citizen
  • A non-citizen of the United States
  • Legal permanent resident
  • A foreigner who received a work permit in the USA.  The employee must indicate the expiration date of the permit, if applicable.

An alien worker who is authorized to work must enter the alien’s registration number (“A number,” which is a unique 7-, 8-, or 9-digit number assigned to the alien) or Form I-94 admission number.

The employee must sign and date the form.  False statements can result in fines and/or imprisonment.

Some employees may need assistance to complete their part of the form.  If the employee is a minor or disabled (or requires a translation), the person assisting in filling out the form (i.e. the preparer and/or translator) must also provide their name and address as well as their signature on the form (also under penalty of perjury  testimony).


Part II: For the Employer, Reviewing the Employee’s Documents

This part of the form is filled out by the employer.  It describes the documents that the employer reviewed to confirm eligibility for employment. 

The employer must take this action within three days of the first day of employment.  The employer may — but is not required to — make a copy of the document(s) provided.

There are three lists of documents that can be used.  The type of documents used determines the part of Part II that must be completed by the employer.

List A: The documents in this list prove the employee’s identity and employment authorization. The employee only needs to provide one of the following forms to satisfy the document requirement:

  • US passport (or US passport card)
  • Permanent resident card (“green card”) or alien registration card (technically, a green card is Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport with temporary mark I-551
  • Work authorization document that includes a photograph (Form I-766)
  • For a nonimmigrant alien who is authorized to work: a foreign passport and Form I-94 (or 94A) and proof of the alien’s nonimmigrant status if it has not expired
  • Passport of the Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands

List B: Documents in this list indicate the identity of the employee.  If the employee does not have a document from List A, one document from List B plus one document from List C (below) must be presented.

  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID (if it includes photo ID and other personal information)
  • School card with photo
  • Voter registration card
  • US military ID or draft card
  • Certificate of military dependent
  • US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Card
  • Native American tribal document
  • A driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority

For minors (under the age of 18) who cannot present one of the documents listed in B, alternative documents acceptable for proof of employee identity include a school book or report card;  client, doctor or hospital card;  or a record of a kindergarten or nursery school.6

List C: This document confirms the employee’s authorization to work in the United States.  Again, if the worker is unable to provide a document from List A, he must provide one from List B and one from List C.65

  • Social Security Account Number Card (unless the card says: Invalid for Work, Valid for Work Only with INS Authorization, or Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization)
  • Foreign Birth Certificate issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545)
  • Birth certificate issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350)
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a US state, county, municipality or territory with an official seal
  • Native American tribal document
  • U.S. Citizen Identification Card (Form I-197)
  • Identification card for a resident citizen of the United States (Form I-179)
  • Work authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security

As with the employee, employers must certify under penalty of perjury that they have reviewed the required documents, believe them to be authentic, and believe to the best of their knowledge that the employee is eligible to work in the U.S.

In addition to signing in the certification section, the employer must state the employee’s first day of employment, as well as other information about the employer (company name, position of the person signing the form, and company address).

ALSO CHECK: FORM 911: How to Request a Taxpayer Advocate Form

Part III: For the Employer, When Rehiring

This part of the form is also filled out only by the employer, but is used only in the case of re-verification when the employee is re-hired. 

If the employee is rehired within three years of the date of the original Form I-9, the employer may choose to complete this section or complete a new Form I-9.6

If this part is required, the employer simply provides the employee’s name (or new name if the employee’s name has changed) and the date of re-employment. 

If the previous employment permit has expired, but now it has been extended, enter information about the document confirming such authorization (name of the document, number and expiration date of the new employment permit).

As with the other parts, the employee must sign, under penalty of perjury, that he/she believes the document presented is authentic and that the employee is authorized to work in the United States.

ALSO CHECK: Form 8959 | All You Need To Know

 I-9 Verification Requirements

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired to work in the United States. 

All US employers must ensure that an I-9 form is properly completed for each person they hire. The form must be filled out by both employees and employers or authorized representatives of the employer. 

Employees must provide proof of their work authorization and provide their employer with acceptable identification and work authorization. 

During the I-9 verification process, the employer must verify the employment eligibility and identification documents provided by the employee to determine whether they are genuine and record the information on the I-9 form.

Employers must retain original I-9 forms for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date of termination of employment, whichever is later.  Forms must be kept separate from other personal files and be available for inspection by authorized government officials.

The USCIS Handbook for Employers M-274 is designed to supplement employers’ understanding and knowledge of the various I-9 verification obligations.  Therefore, it can be used as a primary source of information and guidance on I-9 compliance. 

The new version of the Guide was released in conjunction with the new Form I-9, which became mandatory on May 1, 2020.  It offers clarification on several I-9 verification procedures, such as revised instructions for completing Form I-9 in specific situations. 

This includes F-1 foreign students who are changing status to H-1B and foreign workers with an automatic USCIS Employment Authorization Document (EAD) extension.  In addition, the new Guide explains how an individual can be an authorized representative to file a Form I-9 on behalf of an employer.

ALSO CHECK: Form 8822-B: Requirement and How it Works


When an employer hires you, they give you a packet that contains any employment forms you need to fill out, sign, and return to the company.  This includes the I-9 form that meets the employment requirements. 

Employers must document wages, benefits, taxes and employment eligibility to comply with regulatory requirements and standard hiring practices.  When you’re a new employee, it can be overwhelming.

How To Fill Out Form I9 FAQs

What Is Form I-9?

Form I-9 is a required federal form that must be completed by both the new employee and the employer, with separate sections for each.  The employee must present valid current right-to-work documents and the employer must verify the documents submitted and verify this.

What Is The Difference Between I-9 and E-Verify?

There is definitely a bit of confusion about the difference between Form I-9 and E-Verify.  E-Verify is not a substitute for Form I-9.  In fact, the I-9 is the heart of the E-Verify process.

E-Verify is a free government service that compares the information provided by the employee on the Form I-9 with data from the US Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration and, in some cases, the Department of Motor Vehicles.

When Do I Need To Fill Out Form I-9?

Form I-9 must be completed within three business days of the start date.  If the newly hired employee claims that the necessary documents were lost, stolen or destroyed, the person must provide a receipt for the replacement of the documents within three days. 

If the employee has provided a receipt for a replacement document, he or she must provide the actual document within 90 days of the start date.  However, receipts will not be accepted if the work lasts less than three working days.

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Form I-9 must be completed within three business days of the start date.  If the newly hired employee claims that the necessary documents were lost, stolen or destroyed, the person must provide a receipt for the replacement of the documents within three days. 

If the employee has provided a receipt for a replacement document, he or she must provide the actual document within 90 days of the start date.  However, receipts will not be accepted if the work lasts less than three working days.

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