I-9 FAQs

What is the I-9 form, and why do I need to complete one?

An I-9 Form is the Employment Eligibility Verification Form required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to verify your identity and your eligibility to work. All employees must complete this form and provide valid original identifications. You are not eligible for pay until you have completed your I-9.

Get more information from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a branch of DHS.

When do I complete the I-9 form?

On or before your first day of employment, complete Section 1 of the I-9 online.

Within 3 business days of your first day of work, you must bring the required original documents to an I-9 processing center. The staff at the processing center will verify your employment eligibility and complete section 2 of the form.

Where can I go for help?

For assistance with the online I-9 form, please go to https://www.newi9.com/Help/ or contact your hiring manager.

I don’t know if I have the right documentation. Where can I find out?

Once you have completed section 1 of the I-9 form online, you will see a confirmation page that lists the acceptable documents you may bring to the I-9 office in order to complete the I-9 process. The list of acceptable documents can also be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

Please note: expired documents are not acceptable by order of the Department of Homeland Security.

I don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN) or Alien Number. What do I do?

When you complete section 1 of your I-9 Form, you can indicate that the SSN has been applied for.  Please complete section 1 online and then visit an I-9 Service Center within 3 business days of your date of hire/first day of work and a representative will assist you.

Where can I get answers to questions about taxation?

Columbia University does not provide tax advice; we recommend that you seek the advice of a professional tax advisor with questions about taxation.

If you are seeking information on tax forms only, you may contact the Human Resources Service Center online, or by calling (212) 851-2888.

Where does the information I am submitting go? Who uses it?

The information you submit via the online I-9 system is used by Columbia University only to verify your U.S. employment eligibility with the Federal Government. Please know that your personal information is protected by Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.

I worked for the University within the past three years and previously filled out a paper I-9 form. Do I need to complete a new I-9?

Yes.