For the second time this year, the USCIS has published an updated version of its Form I-9 Handbook for Employers.  The most recent version of the Handbook can be accessed through the USCIS’s I-9 Central HERE (Click on the picture of the I-9 Handbook for employers in the right hand column).

Earlier in June, the USCIS also posted a series of Questions and Answers regarding Form I-9.  You can access the complete Q&A HERE:

Some of the more interesting pieces of advice offered in the recent release include:

  1. Do volunteers at your non-profit need to complete the Form I-9?  Employers do not need to complete a Form I-9 for volunteers.  However, if the volunteer receives any remuneration, such as housing or tickets, the volunteer is deemed an employee and must complete Form I-9.  (Do not forget about the FLSA implications when it comes to “volunteers.”)
  • Do I have to complete a Form I-9 for an overseas employee going through training in the U.S.?  If the employer pays for training in the U.S. that is required for the job, the employer should complete Form I-9 for the employee, even if the employee will work for the employer overseas after the training is completed.

 

  • Must the employee include a physical address in Section 1 of the Form I-9?  The employee must enter a physical address in Section 1 of the Form I-9; P.O. boxes are not acceptable.  The employee can enter a physical description of the location if the residence does not have a physical address, such as “18 miles southwest of the Main Street post office near the water tower.”

 

  • Can we require an applicant to complete the Form I-9 prior to extending a job offer?  The USCIS has adopted the position that an employer may not require an employee to complete Form I-9 before the employee has accepted the job offer.  The USCIS position is likely tied to E-Verify rules prohibiting employers from using E-Verify as a pre-screening tool.

 

  • Can employers accept unsigned Passports and Social Security Cards as proof of work authorization?  Employers may accept an unsigned passport or Social Security card for I-9 purposes provided the passport/Social Security card appears to be genuine on its face and relates to the employee presenting the passport/Social Security card.

 

  • Is a laminated Social Security card an acceptable List C document?  A laminated Social Security card is a valid List C document unless the card states on the back, “Not Valid if Laminated.”  Metal or plastic reproductions of Social Security cards are not acceptable for I-9 purposes.

 

  • An employee submitted a Social Security card annotated “For Social Security and Tax Purposes Only.”  Is such a Social Security proof of work authorization for I-9 purposes?  Such a Social Security card is valid proof of the employee’s authorization to work.

 

  • How does the USCIS recommend correcting a mistake on a Form I-9 after a conducting a self audit?  The USCIS recommends that the employer draw a line through the inaccurate information, write the correct information on the I-9 Form, and initial and date the correction.  USCIS also recommends that the employer make a note in the I-9 file that it completed a self audit on that date.

 

  • We discovered that we used an outdated version of Form I-9.  How should we correct the error?  If an employer realizes that it used an outdated version of Form I-9 at the time of an employee’s hire, the employer should complete a new Form I-9, using the current version, and attach the new Form I-9 to the previously completed Form I-9.  The Q&A provides no guidance if the error is discovered after the employee has left the employer’s employment and can no longer be asked to complete the new Form I-9.