Online I-9: Frequently Asked Questions

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What do I do if the I-9 has not been completed by the third business day after the employee's start date?

The three-day rule must be followed. If the employee is not verified by the third date, at minimum the employee must not be allowed to continue working until they bring in their documents.

Once the I-9 is completed, the employee can begin work. The I-9 administrators must give a detailed explanation within the I-9 comments section. A comment that the I-9 was late is not acceptable.

How do I receive access to the I-9 System?
The HR representative for your college or administrative unit approves I-9 administrators. Once approval is received, you can register for training through ULearn.

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, contact Alba Vogelgesang (612-625-6335, for training and login instructions.

The appointment date is August 31 and the start date is September 8. Which date is used to determine the three-day compliance window?

September 8 is the start date, so the I-9 should be completed within three business days.
When an employee has an SSA TNC or DHS TNC, how long does the system give the person to contest and start the referral process?

The E-Verify process states the employee has eight days from the date of the referral to either visit the SSA or call the DHS.

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What should an employee expect with a DHS tentative nonconfirmation?

When the I-9 E-Verify status shows a DHS TNC, the employee should be shown a generic copy of the Notice to Employee of Tentative Nonconfirmation. This notice explains the process to either contest or not contest the E-Verify issue. We expect that the employee will contest, but once explained—both in the notice and the verbal explanation—it's up to the employee to decide.

Once the employee contests the issue, both the notice and the employee Referral to the Department of Homeland Security are printed and given to the employee. The referral letter will show the employee's name and employee's case verification number, as well as the employer name.

The employee should follow the directions in the first paragraph of the referral letter and call the Department of Homeland Security to resolve the case. The referral letter explains that the referral is time sensitive and gives a phone number at the bottom if the employee has questions about unfair immigration practices.

But to resolve the E-Verify case, the employee should use the phone number in the first paragraph of the referral letter. Our experience has been that the issue is resolved quickly, and the employee's E-Verify status is automatically changed from DHS Referred to Resolved—Employment Authorized. Keep in mind that while the employee is in the TNC and referral process, the employee continues to work and the I-9 in PeopleSoft is compliance verified.

What do I do if I get the processing message “The E-Verify system is currently unavailable”?
Click the refresh button and the transaction usually continues. If there is a system outage, you will be notified by email.

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What is the I-9 process for the foreign national?

When an international student arrives on campus, they must first check in with the International Office on campus so the SEVIS record can be activated. In Duluth, when the J-1 (or F-1) visa holder checks in with the Duluth International Office, a fax is sent to ISSS in the Twin Cities. The student's SEVIS record is activated and electronically sent to DHS. The SEVIS activation process for the Twin Cities and coordinate campuses is not a new procedure with E-Verify; it's been the standard for years.

The ISSS website explains the process for F-1 students (and departments) to follow when applying for a Social Security number. The student must have proof of a job (or job offer) and present that proof along with the standard documentation. ISSS has a template for the hiring department to complete for the student.

The E-Verify system requires that foreign national employees apply for a Social Security number (SSN) before they can complete the I-9 form, and they need to complete the I-9 within 3 days of their employment start date. The Social Security Administration has to verify their status, their Port of Entry information, and their academic registration, through their electronic system called SAV before they can issue an SSN. This can take anywhere from minutes to six to eight weeks.

Everyone who applies for a Social Security number needs to leave the Social Security Administration office with a receipt in order for them to complete their I-9 form. This "receipt" may be a letter that states they have applied but still need to be verified before their application can be processed, or it may be an actual receipt. The student brings the receipt or letter to the West Bank Office Building, Room 545, and completes the Online I-9 with help from a central I-9 administrator. There is no central location at the Duluth, Morris, Crookston, and Rochester campuses. I-9 administrators complete the I-9 process with the foreign national.

Employees can begin work and will be paid as of their first day of employment, as long as they have applied for a Social Security number and completed the I-9.

Once the Social Security number is received, the employee needs to show it to departmental payroll staff, who will update the I-9 information.

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Is the I-9 process different for hourly appointments?

No. The I-9 must be completed within three business days of their start date as reflected in job data in PeopleSoft.
When I tried to complete section 2, I received the message “The current I-9 is not eligible for verification through E-Verify.”
This is a noncompliance system message. Contact 4-UOHR immediately (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363).
What are the repercussions for a late I-9?
We must follow the IRCA regulations, but when the I-9 is not completed in time, the reason must be included in the comments section. The comment must include more detail than just stating that the I-9 was late. The E-Verify system conducts audits, and the University could be liable for fines due to late I-9s.
I am confused about what name to enter in the I-9 system, since I know the employee was recently married.

In the I-9 system, always enter the name as it appears on the Social Security card. If the employee gets a new Social Security card with the married name, the name must be changed in PeopleSoft, but no changes in the I-9 system are required.
Do I have to wait until I see compliance verified in PeopleSoft to do pay entry?
Absolutely not. Job data should be entered into PeopleSoft as soon as you know the person is hired. Because there is a delay from the time the I-9 is completed successfully to when it’s updated to PeopleSoft, the I-9 status may not show on the system at the time pay is entered (although if the I-9 is completed in time, then by all accounts everything should be in place before pay entry is updated). This should not prevent you from updating time to pay entry. The PeopleSoft payroll process verifies that an I-9 exists before it will generate a paycheck.

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I verified the I-9 and went into PeopleSoft, but the Employee Summary did not list "Compliance Verified" for the employee. How does the I-9 system interact with PeopleSoft job data and pay entry?

The Online I-9 system is a “stand-alone” system to capture I-9 data and process that data through E-Verify. A report is run from the Online I-9 system to capture the completed I-9’s hire data and update it to PeopleSoft’s I-9 status. That report is run on Monday and Wednesday each week. The Monday report captures any I-9s completed from the prior Wednesday through Sunday, and the Wednesday report updates I-9s completed on Monday and Tuesday. Since the update of information to PeopleSoft is not “real time,” there will always be a lag from the time the I-9 is completed successfully to when the information is updated to the system. That lag does not prevent the department from entering time to pay entry.

The report script determines the employee’s employee ID by comparing the SSN on the report to the SSN in PeopleSoft. If the employee’s information has not been updated to PeopleSoft by the time the I-9 report runs, the I-9 “Compliance Verified” status cannot be updated to PeopleSoft. A best practice for the department would be to update personal data and job data as soon as the person is hired—not wait until the employee has already started work. That practice will also allow the new employee to get x.500 access.

The new employee says she completed her I-9, but when I check pending I-9s, I cannot find it.

This is most likely due to an incorrect location being selected for which you do not have access. Once the I-9 is in pending status, the location cannot be changed until the start date. There are two options. One option is to call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) on the employee’s start date. They can change the location and you can see view the I-9 and process section 2.

The other option is to ask the employee to enter a new I-9.

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How do I verify an I-9 for someone who works out of state and never comes to campus?

There is a process in place for a remote hire. Call 4-UOHR (612-624-8647 or 800-756-2363) for details.
I found an E-Verify issue for a person, but I remembered that when I verified section 2, I received the message that “I-9 entered successfully.” What happened?

The “I-9 entered successfully” message is at the top of the page. To view the E-Verify status message, scroll down.
I have a new foreign national employee who applied for an SSN and completed the I-9. He has now received his SSN and brought it to me. What do I do with it?

You will need to update the employee’s online I-9 with the new SSN and also make sure the SSN is updated to PeopleSoft. You will find the I-9 in the SSN Applied For section of the Quick Search Window on the I-9 Express main page. The Online I-9 Administrators job aid (pdf) on the Payroll Web site (on the I-9 Regulation page) will assist you with instructions on how to update the Online I-9 with the SSN.
The system returns an SSA Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) and the employee contests and visits the Social Security Office. I discover that the SSN was entered incorrectly. What do I do?

Since the SSN was incorrect, you do not have to wait for the SSA response. You can create a new I-9 for the employee using the correct SSN and document data from the original ones shown to you. Be sure to comment in detail that the original I-9 was completed in time but the SSN was incorrect.

When the original incorrect case comes back with a SSN FNC, you can resolve the case using the reason of invalid query.

We pay a stipend to some graduate students who arrive on campus before their start date. How do I pay the stipend before an I-9 is completed?

Payroll Services reviews stipend payments from other departments through the Enterprise Financial System (EFS). Work with your EFS cluster to pay these stipends through the vendor process. Note: The stipend cannot be tied to services, but to their educational activity as scholarship or fellowship grants.
Do I need to view the Social Security card?

No. It's the employee's choice as to which documents to show for the I-9, as long as it complies with acceptable documents, based on their immigration (citizenship) status. The employee is required to provide the employer with their Social Security number, but that is not the same as the employee being required to show the card—if other list C documents are available. The I-9 Regulation Web page gives all the details about the SSN requirement and the employee's choice of employment authorization documents.

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