We all know that the I-9 form is an essential part of the hiring process. The form verifies that employees are legally eligible to work in the United States by requiring employees to submit a combination of forms of identification. While most employers know that an I-9 form is required for new employees, there are several aspects of the form that if done improperly can lead to issues. Here are some quick tips to keep your employment eligibility process running smoothly: Don’t be overeager. The I-9 form should only be filled out once an employee has been hired. The regulations require Section 1 to be completed on the first day of employment, but employers are permitted three business days to complete the entire form. Requiring applicants to fill out any paperwork concerning citizenship can lead to claims of discrimination and should be avoided. Make sure you are using the right form. The form has undergone several changes over the last few years, and employers should be sure they are using the most recent edition, as many employers use copies of the same form without checking for updates. On March 8, 2013, the USCIS released a new, 2-page I-9 form (9 pages total with explanations) with an expiration date of 03/31/2016. This updated form is currently the only acceptable edition and can be downloaded here: www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf Follow the directions. There are several instructions about how the form should be filled out that seem small but could result in the I-9 form being rejected. For example: Use black or blue ink on the I-9 Form. Do not use different color or type of ink in the same section. Do not have more than one handwriting in the same Section (unless person filling out Section 2 is also preparer/translator). Do not use pencil. Expiration date of documents must be written as month/day/year (do not use day/month/year). If a mistake occurs during completion of the form, start over with a new form. Handle documentation properly. Section 2 is all about employees submitting the right documents, which are used by the employer to verify identity and work eligibility. An employee must present either: an acceptable document from List A or acceptable documents from both List B and List C. While this seems easy enough, many employers get caught making silly mistakes. Here are a few things to watch out for. Don’t tell an employee which documents they can and cannot use. Give them the list and let them chose for themselves. Don’t fill out more than you need to. If you use a List A document, do not fill out List B and List C documents. Do examine the original documents and verify that they appear genuine – making sure the photo or the description of the person reasonably matches the person showing the documents to you (for example, height, age, race or gender) and that the documents are original and unexpired. Do not accept photocopies of documents. Only original documents are acceptable. If the employee cannot produce original documents to complete the I-9 Form, the employee cannot work at the company. Now that you can navigate the choppy seas of employment verification, your I-9 form journeys should be smooth sailing! Click here to order our brand new, all-in-one federal compliance poster for your break room. Looking for more information about employment verification? Click here to gain more access.