Cómo completar un formulario I-9 por sección [+ Instrucciones de video]

Employers are required to complete an I-9 form, which confirms eligibility to work in the US, within three days of a new employees hire date (the first day of work for pay). The employee fills out the first page, and employers must verify and fill out the rest. Follow the instructions by section to complete your I-9 forms correctly or view the video below as a guide.

Begin by downloading the current I-9 form , which is free and available in English and Spanish, during the onboarding of your new hire . You can choose to use the fillable PDF or print and give paper copies to your new hires.

Download Form I-9

Section 1: Employee Information and Attestation

Section 1 of the I-9 form should be completed in full by the employee. If any of the fields are not relevant (such as your employee has no email address), they can write N/A in the field.

Employee Information

The first part of Section 1 is to provide the employees information. Have the employee input their

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security number
  • Telephone number
  • Email address (if applicable)

Employee information box

Some employees have non-standard names such as hyphenated last names or no middle initial. Other employees may not have received their Social Security number yet. There are instructions provided in the Handbook for Employers for these unique situations.


The second part of Section 1 attests (under penalty of perjury) that the employee is eligible to work in the United States. The employee should check the appropriate box:

  1. A citizen of the United States
  2. A noncitizen national of the United States
  3. A lawful permanent resident
  4. An alien authorized to work

Employee attestation data

The employee should then sign and date the form, where indicated.

Preparer and/or Translator Certification

The employee must state whether they used a preparer/translator or not. Have the employee check the corresponding box:

  • I did not use a preparer or translator
  • A preparer(s) or translator(s) assisted the employee in completing Section 1

If a translator was used, then that person (which may be you, another employee, or the employees family member) will need to complete and sign the section where indicated.

Preparer or translator will sign and complete their name and address information.

If youre using a payroll provider, look for the I-9 and other employment forms on its website. Software like Gusto can email I-9 forms to employees with instructions on how to complete the form as well as tools to sign and submit the forms electronically.

Section 2: Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification

The employer completes this section. In a small business, the authorized representative may be your administrative assistant or accounting/payroll manager. Start by copying the employees name and enter it into the first box that states Employee Info from Section 1.

Employee information from Section 1

In the Citizenship/Immigration Status box, input the number corresponding to their employee status, as indicated in Section 1:

  1. A citizen of the United States
  2. A noncitizen national of the United States
  3. A lawful permanent resident
  4. An alien authorized to work

For example, if the employee is a citizen of the United States, you would input No. 1 in the Citizenship/Immigration Status box.

Identity and Employment Authorization

To complete this portion of the I-9 form, have the employee bring in one or two forms of identification (must be examined in person). Examples of acceptable documents can be found in our I-9 form article .

To prevent employment discrimination , dont tell the employee which documents to bring. Provide them with the instructions, asking them to bring documentation per the I-9 form to prove that theyre legally eligible to work in the US.

Using the document(s) provided by the employee, the employer representative will complete the Identity and Employment Authorization sections (List A or Lists B and C). Fill in the following fields:

  • Document Title (i.e., US Passport)
  • Issuing Authority
  • Document Number
  • Expiration Date

Identity and Employment Authorization sections

  • List A
  • Lists B & C

When an employee presents identification as defined by List A, the form can be completed with only that one document, which serves both to identify the employee and validate that theyre authorized to work in the United States. Examples include

  • Valid US passport
  • Permanent resident card
  • Employment authorization document
  • Foreign passport

If the employee does not provide documentation from List A, then they must provide two forms of identification as required in List B (identity) and List C (employment authorization). The most common type of identification that US employees present is a drivers license (as identification) and a Social Security card (as work authorization).

As an employer, you must accept any of the documents listed on the I-9 instructions that can be used to establish the persons identity or employment authorization. These include the following:

List B – Identity List C – Employment Authorization
Drivers License Social Security Card
School ID Birth Certificate (original or certified copy)
Military ID ID Card
Voter Registration Card Employment Authorization Document

Once youve seen the original documents yourself (or had your representative verify them), and youve noted the document title, issuing authority, document number, and expiration date on the I-9 form, hand the documents back to the employee. Theres no need for you to keep photocopies.

If the employee is unable to present the required documents from list A, or from lists B and C combined, you have one of two options.

  1. If the employee doesnt yet have their documentation, a receipt showing that theyve applied for these documents will suffice. You will be required to come back and complete Section 3 of the form once the documents arrive.
  2. You can rescind the employment offer and terminate their employment. Make this expectation clear from Day One by showing them the text at the top of Section 2, which states: Employers must sign and complete Section 2 within three business days of the employees first day of employment.

It is a best practice to accept the documentation provided as long as it appears to be genuine and related to the employee. However, if the document is not an original, or the name or image has been manipulated, you may ask the employee to provide you with an original document that has not been altered.

Start Date and Authorized Signature

After you have completed List A or Lists B and C, you will enter the employees start date. This is the date the new hire began work with your company. The employer or authorized representative will then sign the document. Include the following:

  • Title of employer or authorized representative
  • Last name of employer or authorized representative
  • First name of employer or authorized representative
  • Business or organization name
  • Business or organization address

Input employees start date and sign.

Section 3: Reverification and Rehires

Section 3 is used only to review documentation that was applied for but not yet received at the time of hire or reverify documents when an employee is rehired. Similar to Section 2, you (or your representative) will sign that you have reviewed/reverified the document once the employee brings it in. You do not need to fill out a new formsimply add the following to the existing I-9:

  • Part A: Fill in the employees name if it includes a name change that is different from Section 1 of the form (i.e., marriage and divorce with name change).
  • Part B: Fill in the new hire date.
  • Part C: Used to establish new (or previously expired) documentation different from that in Section 2 of the I-9 form. Enter the document title, number, and expiration date.

Following your entries, simply sign and date the bottom of Section 3.

Input date of rehire or verification documentation.

An I-9 is needed only when you hire an employee who will be paid wages and receive a year-end W-2. You do not need an I-9 form if youre hiring a contract employee who youll pay through your accounting system and issue a 1099-MISC at year-end. Contractors need only an independent contractor agreement.

Verify the I-9 Form Is Completed Correctly & File

To verify that the I-9 form is completed, make sure all required fields are filled out (or marked unknown or N/A, as required), signature fields are completed, and dates are input in the correct format of mm/dd/yyyy (example: 07/03/2022).

Another option to verify employment eligibility is to use the E-Verify system . E-Verify is a government internet website that allows you to verify that the information the employee listed on the I-9 form is valid. Whereas completing an I-9 form is required, using E-Verify is not required for most employers. However, it can give you peace of mind if you want to ensure your employees are legally eligible to work in the US.

Where to File I-9 Forms

Once documents are signed and verified, create an electronic or paper file folder called I-9s and store them by year. As a best practice, do not store signed I-9 forms in employees personnel folders due to the confidential information they contain. Use a checklist in each employees personnel file to indicate that you have completed the I-9 form and have it on file. Of note, the I-9 does not need to be sent to an authorizing authority but simply kept on file within your business.

When to Delete I-9 Forms

Completed and signed I-9 forms need only be kept for three years after the time of hire. A best practice is to destroy (shred) I-9 documentation after three years. If an employee is terminated, their I-9 form can be destroyed after one year. An audit of your records can result in fines (up to $10,000), but records arent usually levied against a business unless a pattern of violations is seen.

For more on what documents to keep and how long to keep them, read our payroll records retention article.

Bottom Line

I-9 verification is an employer requirement that must be completed within three days of your new hires start date. You must complete sections 1, 2, and 3 and verify documentation in person for each new hire. While the I-9 does not need to be sent to anyone, you should keep the document in a separate file from the new hires personnel folder.

Do you fill out the I-9 form before or after you get hired

When completing Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, you, as the employer, must make the complete instructions to the form and the Lists of Acceptable Documents available to newly hired employees. Your employees must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than their first day of employment .

How do I fill out a I-9 with a Social Security card

The full title, name, and document number, if applicable, must be included on the form. For example, if a social security number card is presented, the information should be listed as Document title: “Social Security Card”, Issuing authority: “Social Security Administration”, Document # :”( complete document number”) .

What does an employer need for I-9

To comply with these laws, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person hired. The Form I-9 is a record of this required verification process, which businesses complete and retain for each employee.

Can you electronically fill out I-9

Yes! In fact, electronic I-9’s are the preferred method for this critical new hire form.