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:
- 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.