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Frequently Asked Questions: I-9 Compliance

This page provides responses to common questions for achieving employment compliance with Form I-9, regarding interruption in employment, certification of naturalization, conditional permanent residents, expired Form I-9, name changes, noncitizen nationals, passports versus visas, receipt rule, authorized representatives, remote employees, and the required types of documents and deadlines for submission.

The interim process may only be used for employees who work exclusively from a remote location due to COVID-19 protocols put in place on campus. Please visit the Interim I-9 page to learn more.

If a former employee has returned to work at Stanford, complete a new or updated Form I-9 even if the interruption in employment is only one working day. The new hiring department may facilitate this process by completing a new Form I-9 with the employee.

Yes. The Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570) is an acceptable document for List C, a #8 employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS); however, it needs to be combined with one of the List B documents in order to satisfy the I-9 requirement. See the USCIS website for details.

Yes. The employer may make a copy of the Certification of Naturalization for the purposes of Form I-9. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act governing the Form I-9 process, the copying of documentation is permitted notwithstanding any other provision of law.

No. Permanent residents do not require reverification if employment was continuous. In other words, permanent resident cards with or without an expiration date are List A documents that should not be reverified. (Cited from the USCIS Handbook for Employers.)

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released an updated Form I-9 (Rev. Oct. 21, 2019 N) that must be used for all new hires and reverifications. View the date printed at the bottom left of each page to make sure you are using this version.

There are no changes to the first two pages of the form since the Nov. 14, 2016 version, but page 3 was revised to add Consular Report of Birth Abroad to the list of acceptable documents.

A summary of key updates from the Oct. 21, 2019 revision is as follows: 

  • USCIS has introduced two versions of Form I-9: An electronic version that is completed  online and a hard copy version that is printed and completed offline. Either version of the form may be used.
  • If completing the form online, Section 3 appears on page 3. Once printed, Section 3 will appear at the bottom of page 2, in a similar format to the previous version of the form.
  • The instructions are no longer attached to the form, but an Instructions link appears on the form when completing it online or as a smart PDF on a computer.
  • Addition or revision of data fields (i.e., other last names used, preparer or translator certification and drop-down document menus in Section 2).
  • Employers must enter the employee's citizenship or immigration status at the top right of Section 2 of the form. Select the corresponding number (1-4) in accordance with the attestation the employee made in Section 1.

The process of completing Form I-9 itself remains unchanged.

The previous version of Form I-9, which shows an expiration date of Aug. 31, 2019, is no longer accepted.

No. Payroll does not require additional documentation in the event of a name change. Please contact your local department manager or human resources administrator to update your name in PeopleSoft. For correct reporting of wage information to Social Security, your name in PeopleSoft must match your legal name on file with the Social Security Administration. 

Noncitizen nationals are persons born in American Samoa, certain former citizens of the former Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and certain children of noncitizen nationals born abroad. More information on U.S. noncitizen nationals is found at www.travel.state.gov

No. Though the visa and passport are somewhat similar in appearance, the visa document has “VISA” printed on the top left corner and is not on the List of Acceptable Documents. Please note the differences and ensure that a visa is not submitted in place of a passport.

The "receipt rule” covers situations in which employees are authorized to work at the time of initial hire or reverification, but they are not in possession of a document listed on the List of Acceptable Documents accompanying Form I-9. Receipts showing that a person applied for an initial grant of an employment authorization document (EAD) or for renewal of an EAD is not acceptable.

An individual may present a receipt in lieu of a document listed on Form I-9 to complete Section 2 or Section 3 of Form I-9. The receipt is valid for a temporary period. There are three different scenarios where receipts qualify under the rule:

  • A receipt for a replacement document when the document has been lost, stolen, or damaged. The receipt is valid for 90 days, after which the individual must present the replacement document to complete Form I-9.

    This rule does not apply to individuals who present receipts for new documents following the expiration of their previously held document.

  • A Form I-94/I-94A containing a temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual, which is considered a receipt for the Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).

    The individual must present Form I-551 by the expiration date of the temporary I-551 stamp or within one year from the date of issuance of Form I-94/I-94A if the I-551 stamp does not contain an expiration date.
  • A Form I-94/I-94A containing an unexpired refugee admission stamp. This is considered a receipt for either an EAD (Form I-766) or a combination of an unrestricted Social Security card and List B document. The employee must present either option to complete Form I-9 within 90 days after the date of hire or, in the case of reverification, the date employment authorization expires.

Since the Form I-9 must be signed by an authorized representative of the employer, a regular employee should review the documents presented and complete the form.

Nonimmigrant aliens authorized to work must apply for an SSN if being paid through Payroll.

A Social Security number is required of all employees in the U.S. Most nonresidents arrive in the U.S. without a Social Security number (SSN). The nonresident should wait for two weeks after entering the U.S. before applying for an SSN. Refer to the Bechtel International Center website for additional information on the application process. Nonresident employees may begin working before applying for an SSN, but they must apply and provide the number to Stanford in a timely manner.

If your employee has not yet applied for an SSN or Social Security card (SSC), have them apply as soon as possible. More information about this process can be found on the Bechtel International Center's website.

If your employee has applied for an SSC but has not yet received the card, have the employee submit a clear copy of the application receipt to the I-9 Compliance Specialist in the Payroll Department.

Once the SSN is received, the employee should bring the SSC for entering into PeopleSoft using the following instructions:

Employee Actions
Faculty/Staff Bring Social Security card to the department or HR administrator
Student Faster and safer method
  • Navigate to AXESS > Student > Submit SSN/ITIN. Once you submit your SSN, the "Submit SSN/ITIN" option will disappear


Postdocs Follow the instructions on the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs website

Every newly-hired employee should complete, sign and submit Section 1 on the first day of work, regardless of their immigration status. 

Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within three business days of the employee's first day of work. If employment lasts less than three days, then the employer must verify work authorization and complete Section 2 no later than the first day of work.

An employer should pay for hours already worked by the employee. Refusing payment for hours worked would be in violation of Labor Code in Labor Code Sections 204, 204b, 205 and 209. If a situation like this occurs in your department, please alert the I-9 Compliance Specialist. We will work with your unit to review local I-9 procedures to ensure compliance with future new hires.

For employees who will work remotely within the U.S., I-9 requirements may be completed with a remote agent at another university in their area. Provide the remote employee with the Remote Employee I-9 and the Remote Agent Instruction Sheet after you have filled in the first three lines. If they are already connected with a specific university, they may make this request themselves (usually to someone in HR or Payroll) and provide that person with the instruction sheet.

If assistance is required when reaching out submit a support request with the completed instruction sheet . 

See Verify Eligibility for Employment page for current options to process the Form I-9.

Last Updated: Apr 4, 2023


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