Some Tips for Completing an I-9 Including Required Uses of N/A

The new form and instructions REQUIRE some fields never be blank, even if not applicable.

In Section 1 which is to be completed by the employee BUT you the employer must ensure the section is complete.

  • Middle Initial, Maiden/Other Names, First and Last Name fields cannot be blank.
    • If someone does not have a middle name or middle initial, enter “N/A.”
    • If someone does not/did not have a different name, enter “N/A.”
    • If a person has only one name, enter that as the Last Name and “unknown” for the first name.
  • Email Address and Telephone Number are not required but cannot be blank.
    • Enter “N/A” or complete the item.


The only I-9 form valid for use is dated “03/08/13  N.”

There are many items to handle correctly, from understanding List A from B and C, to entering the first day of employment, to making or not making copies of identification, to storing the documents, etc.

In general, (1) if you have never been trained to complete an I-9, do not do so without reading and following every detail on the form and instructions (pages 1-2 and 7-9 must be given to the employee).

(2) Unless you have specific experience, there are infrequent situations which should direct you to get help before you sign off on an I-9.  However, do not impose any burden on the employee.  Go through your regular process and then when the person is not with you, get help.  If needed, you can follow up later with the employee.  These include:

  • Using eVerify (required of some employers; optional for all).
  • F-1/J-1 visas (which are not valid for employment; requires a document from their school).
  • H-1B and other work authorizing visas.
  • An application for a social security number (valid but only for a limited time after which you must either see the actual card or prevent the person from working).
  • Refugees and Asylees.
  • Residents of locations outside the United States that are allowed to work in the US without additional documentation.