How to Handle Missing or Incorrect I-9 Forms: A Comprehensive Guide

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The employment eligibility verification form, Form I-9, is an important document for all employers in the United States. It serves as proof that the employees they hire are authorized to work in the U.S. This means U.S. businesses must complete Form I-9 for all their new hires, irrespective of their immigration status in the U.S. It is crucial to make sure these forms are accurately filled and are error-free in order to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. This blog includes steps employers need to take when I-9 forms go missing or if the forms have errors.

Identify Missing I-9 Forms

When employers find that a few I-9 forms are missing, they must first identify which employees are missing their employment eligibility verification forms. To identify that, they must conduct an internal audit and determine who has not completed the I-9 process or whose forms are missing. As it is mandatory to fill out I-9 forms for all employees, employees must ensure that all their employees have promptly gone through the I-9 process.

Learn how to conduct an internal Form I-9 audit.

Inform the Employees

After identifying missing I-9 forms, let the respective employees know that they haven’t gone through the I-9 process or that their forms are missing. Provide them with the I-9 forms and instructions to complete the forms. It is mandatory to explain to the employees the importance of completing these forms and the consequences of non-compliance.

Complete I-9 Forms

Help the employees accurately complete their I-9 forms. Ensure that they complete Section 1 of the form and follow the guidelines provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Check Section 1 for accuracy and complete Section 2 of Form I-9, which is meant for employers. Ensure that you are using the most current version of the I-9 form.

Learn more about the most recent version of Form I-9.

Document the Remediation

Whenever remediation happens, it is vital to keep records of the remediation process. As an employer, you will need to keep records of when and how I-9 forms went missing and how they were completed. These records have to be maintained as you will need the information in case of audits or inspections by government agencies.

Correcting Incorrect I-9 Forms

Follow the steps below when you discover errors in I-9 forms.

  • Identify the Errors – Review the I-9 forms to identify errors. Missing dates, incomplete fields, and incorrect supporting documentation are among the common mistakes.
  • Inform the Employee – Notify the employee of the errors and have them make the required corrections in Section 1 of Form I-9. They will need to cross out the incorrect information, enter the correct information, and sign and date the changes.
  • Update Section 2 – As the employer, it is your duty to update Section 2 of Form I-9 to reflect the corrections the employee made. Make sure you sign and date the form acknowledging the changes.
  • Document the Corrections Made – It doesn’t end just there, and you must also maintain clear records of the corrections made to the I-9 form in the form itself, including the date of correction and the employee’s initials. This documentation is necessary for I-9 audit purposes.


In order to maintain compliance with U.S. immigration laws, you must carefully handle missing or incorrect I-9 forms. By promptly identifying and remedying these issues, you can avoid potential fines that could range up to $2,700 and other legal complications.

Implementing efficient and effective I-9 management solutions, like those offered by Imagility, can streamline the entire Form I-9 process and help you stay on top of your compliance requirements. Remember that maintaining accurate I-9 records is not only a legal obligation but also a crucial step in ensuring a legally authorized workforce.

Helpful I-9 Resources

Form I-9 Playbook

Navigating the I-9 Form 2023: What You Need to Know

DHS Ends Form I-9 Requirement Flexibility

Streamlining I-9 Compliance with Imagility – Case Study

I-9 Reverification Simplified: What Every Employer Should Know

Alternative Procedure for Remote Form I-9 Document Verification

I-9 Compliance Verification: E-Verify Requirements & Acceptable I-9 Documentation

The Ultimate Guide to Form I-9: A Comprehensive Resource for Employers and HR Professionals

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