What is the Form I-9?
Form I-9 is used for verifying the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the US. Form I-9 must be filled out for every US-based employee that works for your company, not only non-citizens. The form requires that the employee present documents to you verifying their identity and authorization to work in the US. You must sign a statement affirming that the presented documents are genuine to the best of your knowledge.
Why is it important for you?
All US employers must complete and ensure proper completion of an I-9 form for every individual they hire regardless of whether they are a US citizen or not.
Completion of a new employee's I-9 is built into their enrollment workflow on Justworks. Employees must fill out their portion of the I-9, Section 1, no later than the end of the first day of their employment. Employers with admin permissions in Justworks will then be prompted to complete their portion of the I-9, Section 2, directly in their Justworks account.
Employers must complete Section 2 within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of work for pay (e.g., if the employee began work for pay on Monday, the employer must complete Section 2 by Thursday of that week). However, if the job lasts less than 3 days, the employer must complete Section 2 no later than the first day of work.
WHO NEEDS TO COMPLETE AN I-9 FORM?
All new paid employees that are physically working in the US need to complete an I-9 form. This will include a business owner that takes a salary.
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN?
- Your employee must complete Section 1 of the I-9 form by the end of their first day of employment. Justworks collects your employees' I-9 information during the enrollment process.
- You must verify your employee’s documentation and accept any documents from the List of Acceptable Documents within three days of an employee starting work. You are verifying the employee’s identity and the employee’s authorization to work in the US.
- You must physically examine each document. Importantly, the employee must be present when you verify their documents.
You (the same person who verified the employee's documents) must then complete Section 2 and sign the I-9 form.
If you have any specific questions about completing the I-9, it's best to refer to the US Citizenship & Immigration Service's Employer Handbook.
It is possible to pay an employee before their I-9 is completed but you should contact your attorney about specific cases.
If your employees have completed paper I-9s prior to your company using Justworks, they will need to complete a new I-9 when they join Justworks.
If an employee is terminated, Justworks will retain their I-9 form for the required time.
Accessing I-9 forms
As an administrator, you have access to completed I-9 forms for all current and former employees through the Justworks dashboard. Go to HR > Documents to view all your employees’ completed I-9s or to find an I-9 for a particular employee, go to the employee’s profile page and find the forms stored under ‘Recent Documents’. The forms can be downloaded as a PDF or printed as needed but you don’t need to print them. The I-9 form will be retained within Justworks for at least the duration of the person's employment.
Looking for more information?
The USCIS has additional information that can help you understand your obligations as an employer in more detail. Also check out our blog postabout how to navigate the new I-9 form, which all employers are required to be using as of September 18th, 2017.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.