When corrections require a second meeting

Approximately 25% of the forms completed by service providers contain errors serious enough to require correction. Usually, the errors require a few extra minutes, like adding an “Issuing Authority” to a document description, or writing in an overlooked “Citizenship/Immigration Status” at the top of page 2. Rescan the page; replace the defective page and upload all to our server and you’re done.

The worst errors and omissions, unfortunately, will require a second meeting with the employee to correct. There are very few errors that fit this category; however, this week three service providers either met with the employee a second time or told us that they had scheduled a second meeting when a second meeting wasn’t necessary.

This article will explain which errors and omissions will require a second meeting with the employee to correct.

If the error is on page 1, you’re meeting again

As you know, the new hire completes Section 1 of Form I-9. The employee swears to the correctness of the info in Section 1; only the employee can correct information to which accuracy she has sworn. Only the employee can add info to this section as well.

Common errors and omissions in Section 1 include:

  • Missing required information. The employee must provide their name, address, date of birth, citizenship status, signature and signature date. Other fields (ex., Apt. Number, Email Address, Phone Number) are optional;
  • Missing Social Security Number. Generally, the employee is not required to provide her Social Security number. The number is required if the employer participates in E-Verify. (See the footnotes for our policy regarding Social Security numbers.)
  • Missing signature or signature date. Failure of the employee to sign and date Section 1 is a serious error that could result in a fine if discovered in a government inspection;
  • Current year instead of birth year in the birth date;
  • Birth year instead of current year in the signature date;
  • Missing citizenship status. The employee must check one citizenship status;
  • Multiple citizenship statuses checked. The employee’s status must be clear;
  • Citizenship status does not match identification document. If the employee presents a valid Permanent Resident Card for identification, for example, they probably should have selected “3. lawful permanent resident” as their citizenship status. A mismatch should prompt you to question the employee’s selected status;
  • No Alien/USCIS Number. When the employee selects “lawful permanent resident” as her citizenship status, she must write her Alien/USCIS Number in the field next to that status;
  • No additional citizenship info provided. When the employee selects “4. an alien authorized to work” as her citizenship status, she must provide one of three additional data points;
  • Section 1 completed on an expired form version. The employee must complete Section 1 on the current version of Form I-9.

As the employer’s Authorized Representative, you must fulfill the employer’s responsibilities during the meeting; one of which is to review Section 1 to ensure that it has been completed correctly by the employee. Failure to do so will probably mean that you’re meeting the employee a second time.

If the error is related to viewing identification documents, you’re meeting again

Ensuring that page 1 is correct is important, but the most important part of your role as the employer’s Authorized Representative is the completion of Section 2, the review of identification documents. Failure to do this correctly may require a second meeting with the employee.

You must view original, unexpired identification documents while in the presence of the employee. The reasoning is simple… you must ensure that the documents relate to the employee who has presented them. The only way to do that is to compare the photo on the document with the employee, face-to-face.

Common document-related errors and omissions that will require a second meeting include:

  • Failure to view enough documents. Some List A documents are actually a combination of two or more documents. For example, if the employee presents a foreign passport, they must also present Form I-94. For certain non-citizen students, a third List A document is required;
  • Failure to view enough documents (B & C). If the employee presents a List B document, she must also present a List C document;
  • Recording an expired document. In almost every situation, the employee must present unexpired identification documents (Certain List A documents for non-citizens may be expired on their face, but their validity extended by a sticker, stamp or other notation);
  • Failure to copy identification documents. You are required to copy the identification documents that are described on the form. But even if you fail to do so, you may be able to avoid a second trip to make the copies. If the employee agrees, you may ask the employee to send you (digitally) a copy of any ID document that you personally viewed at the meeting, in the presence of the employee. You may not ask the employee to send you any document that you did not personally view in the employee’s presence.

Other errors on page 2? No second meeting required

You may correct any errors and omissions on page 2 that are not directly related to the required viewing of original documents in the presence of the employee, without meeting face-to-face a second time. Even if the required corrections are so numerous that a new page 2 is required, you still won’t have to meet with the employee again. To reiterate, correcting or adding something on page 2 will require a second meeting only if the correction will require that you view an identification document that you did not view in the first meeting.

Not sure? Check the error email or just ask!

When we ask you for corrections, the top of the error email will indicate whether or not the corrections will require you to create a new page 2 and/or meet with the employee a second time. If you are not sure whether or not you should schedule a second appointment, please contact us before you do.

Social Security Numbers. The number is optional unless the employer participates in E-Verify. In that situation, the employee must enter the number. We rarely know in advance if our client participates in E-Verify. If the employee leaves the Social Security Number field blank, ask the employee to fill in the number. If the employee refuses, contact us immediately (during the meeting). We will attempt to determine whether or not the number is required before you conclude the appointment. You will be required to meet with the employee a second time to correct the omission of the Social Security number if 1) the employer participates in E-Verify; 2) you failed to ask the employee to provide the missing number; and/or 3) you failed to contact us immediately when the employee refused to provide the number.