I-9 Frequently Asked Questions

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The following Frequently Asked Questions apply to all faculty, staff, and students hired at the University of Minnesota.

I-9 Compliance During COVID-19

The Department of Homeland Security is deferring the physical presence requirements for I-9 employment eligibility verification for employees who are being onboarded remotely and will continue to work remotely. This option is not available for employees who are physically present at a work location. For more information, see the announcement on the I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification page.

General Process Questions

The University of Minnesota Form I-9 processing standard requires that all faculty, staff, and student workers must complete Section 1 and present I-9 documents on or before the first day of work for pay and that the I-9 administrator must complete Section 2 by the end of first day of work for pay.

Our department just hired an employee who won't start work for several months. Can we still complete an I-9 before their first day of paid employment?

Yes. If a faculty, staff, or student worker verbally accepted your department's job offer, they may complete the I-9 any time up to the end of the first day of employment.

We hired a new staff member who has been employed in another department. Do we need to complete a new I-9?

If there has been no break in service, you do not need a new I-9. If there is a break in service and the previous I-9 form was completed in the past three years, complete Section 3 rather a new I-9 form.

Can we complete Section 1 of the I-9 for a new employee?

Yes. The employer may help a faculty, staff, or student worker who needs assistance in completing Section 1 of the I-9; however, the employer must also complete the "Preparer and/or Translator Certification" block. The employee must still present their original documentation to be reviewed and verified in person.

What if an employee's name changes?

You do not need to complete a new I-9 or reverify an existing I-9 due to a name change for current faculty, staff, or student workers. For a new hire, the name on the I-9 must match Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security records to be submitted to E-Verify.

How are receipts of supporting documents used?

When a faculty, staff, or student worker has a receipt, the receipt box should be checked in I-9 Express. This will mark the I-9 as "Receipt Due" in I-9 Express. The verifier must see the original document before the receipt expires.

Only three types of receipts are acceptable for supporting documentation:

  1. A receipt showing that the employee applied to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged document. This applies to any "List A," "B," or "C" document.
  2. The arrival portion of Form I-94/I-94A with a temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual. This document may be presented as a "List A" document instead of showing a Permanent Resident Card (I-551). This receipt has an expiration date listed on the document or on the stamp. (If neither one has an expiration date, it will expire one year after the date of issue). When it expires, the faculty, staff, or student worker must show a Permanent Resident card.
  3. Departure portion of I-94/I-94A with a refugee admission stamp. This may be presented as a "List A" document. The receipt is valid for 90 days; when it expires the employee must show an Employment Authorization Document (I-766) or a combination of a "List B" document and a "clean," unrestricted Social Security card.

I was presented a birth certificate with no document number. How do I fill in the Document # field?

Type "No document number." The I-9 form can still be completed without it. Be sure the document was issued by a state (not hospital) and has a raised seal.

Is it required to review the Social Security card?

No. The faculty, staff, or student work may choose which documents to present to verify their eligibility to work in the United States according to the lists of possible documents in the I-9 instructions. The faculty, staff, or student worker is required to provide the employer with their Social Security number, but they are not required to show the card, if other "List C" documents are available.

Is a picture, scanned image, or other facsimile of a supporting document acceptable in place of the original document?

No. Only original, unexpired documentation or certain unexpired receipts of documentation are acceptable to complete Section 2. The verifier must examine the original documents and evaluate whether these documents reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the person.

What should a unit I-9 administrator do if a faculty, staff, or student worker presents a Social Security card that says "Not Valid for Employment Without DHS Authorization"?

A Social Security card with that notation or similar content cannot be used as a supporting document for an I-9 for citizens or permanent residents.

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System Process Questions

How do I-9 administrators receive access to the I-9 System?

The HR representative or designee for your collegiate or administrative unit approves I-9 administrators. Once you get approval, you can register for training through Training HubI-9 admins are required to have active job data or a person of interest account to authenticate to the system.

Log in with your internet ID and password and search for "online I-9" under the title field and click on Human Resources under the search for subject name drop-down menu.

Once training and assessment is complete, email the OHR Contact Center at OHR@umn.edu asking for access.

What if we complete an I-9 and the employee never shows up for work? How long is the I-9 kept in I-9 Express?

For terminated employees the I-9 remains on file either one year after the termination date or three years after the hire date, whichever is longer. I-9s for active employees are always kept on file.

What should a unit I-9 administrator do if someone accidentally fills out Section 1 and it is not needed?

As long as Section 2 has not been completed, the I-9 will stay in a pending status in I-9 Express for 365 days. After that, the I-9 will be systematically purged.

If the employee faculty, staff, or student worker terminates before the I-9 is completed, a unit I-9 administrator must search for the employee and check the "Terminated Before Completing I-9" box, which will remove that form systematically.[NH3]

After completing the I-9 we realized that we typed in an incorrect Social Security number in Section 1. How can we correct this?

In I-9 Express, use the Change SSN feature. Use the Search for Employees link to find the I-9 and click the Change SSN link. Click the Edit SSN box. Add the correct SSN and click Continue. Confirm that you have the correct SSN in PeopleSoft as well.

An employee has entered the wrong location in Section 1. How do we correct this?

The unit should contact the OHR Contact Center. This can be changed by the I-9 administrator in OHR Payroll Services.

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Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC)

When an employee has an SSA or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC), how long does the system give the person to contest and start the referral process?

The E-Verify process states the faculty, staff, or student worker has eight calendar days from the date of the employer referral to either visit the SSA or call the DHS. Follow the defined instructions from the I-9 Express system.

What should an employee expect with a DHS tentative non-confirmation?

I-9 Express will walk HR and the faculty, staff or student worker through the process of resolving a TNC. Please be sure to follow the instructions closely and keep the following important points in mind:

  • The employee should review the Notice to Employee of Tentative Non-Confirmation. This notice explains the process to either contest or not contest the E-Verify issue. We expect that the faculty, staff, or student worker will contest, but once explained—both in the notice and the verbal explanation—it's up to the faculty, staff, or student worker to decide to contest or stop working.
  • Once the faculty, staff, or student worker contests the issue, both the notice and the referral to the DHS are printed and given to the employee. The referral letter will show the faculty, staff, or student worker's name and case verification number, as well as the employer name.
  • The faculty, staff, or student worker should follow the directions in the first paragraph of the referral letter and call the DHS to resolve the case. The referral letter explains that the referral is time sensitive. The employee has eight calendar days from the date of the employer referral to either visit the Social Security Administration or call the DHS.
  • Our experience has been that the issue is resolved quickly, and the faculty, staff, or student worker's E-Verify status is automatically changed from DHS Referred to Resolve-Employment Authorized. Keep in mind that while the new hire is in the Tentative Non-Confirmation and referral process, the employee continues to work and the I-9 in PeopleSoft is compliance verified.

The system returns a Social Security Administration Tentative Non-Confirmation. The employee contests and visits the Social Security office, and then I discovered that the Social Security number was entered incorrectly. What do I do?

Do not wait for the SSA TNC response to correct the issue. Create a new I-9 for the faculty, staff, or student worker using the correct Social Security number. After you complete the new I-9 process, click on the comment section and explain in detail that the original I-9 was completed in time but the Social Security number was incorrect, and hence a new I-9 was created. When the original incorrect case comes back with an SSN FNC, click on Close Case and choose the reason "data entered incorrect."

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Foreign National Process Questions

If a foreign national employee is being rehired for a different unit, do they need to go to the OHR Payroll Office to complete another I-9, or can we verify in I-9 Express?

If there is no break in service, it is not a rehire. If it is truly a rehire, they should contact their HR department to complete a new I-9.

What should foreign national faculty, staff, or student workers who have applied for a Social Security number do when they receive their number and card?

When they get their Social Security card in the mail, and no later than 90 days from when they applied, the new foreign national faculty, staff, or student worker should bring their Social Security number to their department. The department must enter the Social Security number in I-9 Express and PeopleSoft.

Foreign Nationals Expiring Status

How do I know if a foreign national employee's work authorization is about to expire?

You can find a report in the Reporting Center called Foreign National Supporting Document Expiring Warning Report that shows an upcoming visa status expiration that, if not extended or renewed, means the employee cannot work beyond the expiration date.

Where can I find this report?

Here's the path in MyU: Key Links > Reporting Center > Reports Run for Me > PY FN EXP WARN RPT. Click on the most recent PDF format.

What should I look for?

Search by DeptID. Any employee with an upcoming visa expiration (up to 90 days from the date the report is generated) will be listed by Name, EmplID, Visa Type, Expiration Date, and Days Left to expiration date.

What steps should I take if I have an employee listed on the report?

Contact the employee to verify if steps have been taken to renew or extend their status. If not, and if they are intending to renew their status, the employee should immediately contact the International Student and Scholar Services. Some visa types, such as TN and Residents, may allow for a grace period.

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Rehire Process Questions

Does a rehired employee need complete a new I-9?

If the faculty, staff, or student worker's most recent hire date with the University is less than three years before their rehire date, they do not have to complete a new I-9, nor do they have to present their documents. The department should complete Section 3 in I-9 Express and confirm that the Social Security number on their existing I-9 form is the same as the one in PeopleSoft.

If the faculty, staff, or student worker's most recent hire date is more than three years before the rehire date, a new I-9 form is required. The University of Minnesota Form I-9 processing standard requires that, also in the case of a rehire, all faculty, staff and student workers must complete Section 1 and present 1-9 required documents on or before first day of work for pay and that the I-9 Administrator must complete Section 2 by the end of first day of work for pay.

Does a faculty, staff, or student worker transferring to a new job need to complete a new I-9?

A transfer does not need to do a new I-9.

Should I scan employment eligibility documents and attach them to the electronic I-9?

You should retain a copy only when the faculty, staff, or student worker presents a document used as part of Photo Matching, which includes a U.S. passport and passport card, Permanent Resident card (Form I-551), or the Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766). In those cases, you should scan a copy and upload it to I-9 Express.

At the University of Minnesota we do not store supporting documentation except for the above noted photo-matching documents.

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Term Definitions

Active employee : A faculty, staff, or student worker who is currently actively working, or on unpaid leave, or paid leave, or short work break. These statuses correspond to the PeopleSoft Payroll Status codes A, L, P, or W.

Original hire date: The first date a person is employed at the University of Minnesota.

University start date: Faculty or staff member's first day in a non-student or non-temp/casual job .

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