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Form I-9: Common mistakes by employees and employers

As a business owner or human resources professional, it's important to become familiar with Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. This form will come into play any time you hire a new employee.

While it sounds simple enough to request the completion of the form and file it with the appropriate party, many mistakes can pop up along the way.

For example, here are some of the most common mistakes made by employees:

  • The employee neglects to enter other last names
  • The employee selects "A Lawful Permanent Resident" but fails to enter A-number/USCIS Number
  • The employee forgets to date and/or sign the form
  • The employee does not check one of the boxes for citizen, lawful permanent resident, noncitizen national of the U.S. or alien authorized to work.

While these are some of the common mistakes made by employees in Section 1 of Form I-9, employers could head down the same path themselves in Section 2. Here are some of the top employer mistakes:

  • Forgetting to enter the person's name from Section 1 in Section 2
  • The employer does not list the date of hire
  • The employer does not enter the appropriate information for the documentation presented
  • The employer forgets that they are required to complete Section 2 by the third business day after the employee starts working for the company

Generally speaking, it's not difficult for either an employee or employer to complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. However, this only holds true if people are paying close attention to what they are doing.

If you are on the employer side, you should know what is expected of you when hiring a new employee. You should also know how to review Form I-9 upon receipt, just in case you need to point out a mistake to your new employee.

There are many legalities surrounding Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, so make sure you have a clear understanding of what you should be doing as an employer.

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