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Completing the I-9 for an International Hire

The hiring department must complete an I-9 for all new employees to verify employment eligibility. We have created this guide for employers and international hires, however, the Reves Center cannot provide specific advice about completing the I-9. Please contact Human Resources, 757-221-3169 or [[gjanderson, Ginia Anderson]] in Financial Aid, 757-221-2427 if you need assistance completing the I-9.

Notes on the I-9
  1. An international employee must be in the U.S. to complete the I-9, since the admission information (I-94) is often required. An I-9 can be completed before an employee starts work, but must be completed no later than the employee's first day of work.
  2. All I-9s at W&M and VIMS are completed online.
  3. You may not require an employee to show any specific document.
  4. The employee fills out Section 1 and the employer completes the rest.
  5. For Section 1, W&M or VIMS F-1 and J-1 students and scholars should check the box “An alien authorized to work until_____” and then enter the "program end date" located on the student's I-20 or DS-2019. The Admission # is the 11 digit number printed at the top of the I-94 record (this can be printed by the employee).
  6. For Section 2, if an employee is in F-1 or J-1 status and using the supplemental documents mentioned in point 3, USCIS provides the following guidance*:
    1. F-1 employees: In Section 2 of Form I-9, the employer should enter the foreign passport information in the first area and the I-94 information in the second area in the List A column. Enter the information from the Form I-20, which includes the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) number and expiration date (i.e., the program end date) in the third area in the List A column. See the form instructions for specific requirements for entering information into each field.
    2. J-1 employees: In Section 2 of Form I-9, the employer should enter the foreign passport information in the first area and the I-94 information in the second area in the List A column. Enter the information from Form DS-2019, which includes the SEVIS number and the expiration date, (i.e., the program end date) in the third area in the List A column. For J-1 nonimmigrant students, also note the documentation from the Responsible Officer in the ‘Additional Information’ field in Section 2.
No SSN yet? 
No problem! An SSN is not required to fill out the I-9 but the employee must have applied for one.
  • If the employee does not yet have an SSN, check the box “Has applied for an SSN”.
  • Once the SSN is issued, the employee needs to bring it to Human Resources or Financial Aid (undergraduate and student hourly employees). They will enter it into TALX (I-9 system) and submit it to eVerify.
  • The employee may legally begin work without an SSN (provided that they have already applied for an SSN and the I-9 has been completed) but will not receive a paycheck until the employee has one. This information has been verified with W&M Human Resources.