Form I-9

Crucial Insights into USCIS Form I-9 for Employers

The USCIS Form I-9 is more than just paperwork; it’s a fundamental element of the employment verification process for both US citizens and noncitizens. Here’s a breakdown of the key elements employers need to comprehend.

1. Timeline for Form I-9 Completion

Efficient completion of Form I-9 involves adherence to specific timelines:

  • Section 1: Employees must complete Section 1, accompanied by necessary documents, after accepting a job offer but before the first paid work day.
  • Section 2: Employers are required to finalize Section 2 within the third business day following the employee’s start date.

2. Filing and Maintenance of Form I-9

Contrary to its name, USCIS Form I-9 is not submitted to USCIS. However, employers must:

  • Maintain a properly filled Form I-9 for each employee.
  • Preserve Form I-9 records for three years after the employee’s hire date or for one year post-employment termination, whichever is later.
  • Be prepared to present Form I-9 for inspection upon request by US government officials.

3. Exceptions to Form I-9 Completion

While Form I-9 is mandatory for most employees, certain exceptions exist. These include:

  • Individuals hired before Nov. 6, 1986, who are still employed and expected to remain so.
  • Casual domestic workers with sporadic or intermittent employment.
  • Independent contractors employed by contract service providers.
  • Individuals not physically working in the US.

4. Legal Implications

Employers should be aware that contracting with an independent contractor known to be unauthorized to work in the United States is illegal. Compliance with Form I-9 regulations is a legal obligation for all employers.


Understanding the USCIS Form I-9 is pivotal for employers seeking to navigate the complexities of identity and work authorization verification. Stay informed, ensure compliance, and streamline your employment processes with this indispensable guide.

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