Carnegie Mellon University

Form I-9 and E-Verify FAQs

Can the employee complete the Form I-9 before being hired in Workday?

No. The new hire must be entered into Workday and must complete Section 1 of the I-9 in Workday. Hires can be entered proactively in Workday so the Form I-9 can be completed prior to their start.

Employees hired remotely (not including Silicon Valley) must be entered into Workday, but need to follow the Instructions for Off Site Employees [pdf] to complete the I-9.

Does Form I-9 need to be completed before the employee can get access to Workday?

No. Form I-9 does not need to be completed to be granted access to Workday. The employee should be hired into Workday prior to their start date so they can complete Section 1 in Workday.

When an employee is hired retroactively, how does this affect the completion of the I-9?

If an employee is hired retroactively, then the I-9 was not completed within the mandated completion times. The university can be held liable and assessed fines and other penalties, such as loss of federal contracts.

Can I have a new hire complete Section 1 of Form I-9 prior to their first day of work?

Yes. Once the individual has accepted the job offer, they can complete Section 1 of Form I-9. Once the employee receives their Andrew ID, they need to login to Workday to complete Section 1 no later than the first day of employment.

What address should employees use in Section 1?

Employees should provide the address where they currently live.

Is it acceptable for employees to use a P.O. box or SMC as their address in Section 1?

No. Employees may not use a P.O. box or SMC as their address on Form I-9. The employee must provide the actual location of their residence. If the employee’s residence does not have a house number and street name, they should use their on-campus address in SIO.

Is it mandatory for an employee to provide their Social Security number?

Providing a Social Security number is voluntary, unless the employee will be E-Verified, in which case they must provide their Social Security number on the I-9. Please note that while a Social Security number is not mandatory for an I-9, it is required for Payroll purposes.

Is it mandatory that employees provide their email address and telephone number in Section 1 of Form I-9?

No. The email address and telephone number are voluntary.

How much time does an employer have to complete Section 2 of Form I-9?

Section 2 of Form I-9 must be completed and signed within three business days of the date of hire of the employee. (The hire date means the first day of work for pay.) For example, if your employee began work for pay on Monday, you must complete Section 2 by Thursday of that week. If the job lasts less than three days, you must complete Section 2 no later than the first day of work for pay (Questions and Answers, 2018).

What should be used as the employer’s business name and address in the certification portion of Section 2?

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. If an outside agent is completing Section 2, they should enter their position as Authorized Representative.

I am not at the Pittsburgh Campus. Who can assist me with Section 2?

Is the CMU representative allowed to accept a photocopy of a document presented by an employee or view documents via webcam?

No. Employees must present original documents in person. The only exception is that an employee may present a certified copy of a birth certificate in person.

Is the CMU representative allowed to accept an expired document?

No. Expired documents are no longer acceptable for Form I-9. However, they may accept Employment Authorization Documents (Forms I-766) and Permanent Resident Cards (Forms I-551) that appear to be expired but have been extended by USCIS (Questions and Answers, 2018).

Is the CMU representative allowed to tell a new hire which documents they would like the employee to present to verify identity and work authorization for I-9 purposes?

No. It is up to the employee to choose which document(s) they want to present from the List of Acceptable Documents [pdf]. The CMU representative must accept any document or combination of documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the person presenting them. If the employee will be E-Verified and they choose to present a List B document, the document must have a photograph (Questions and Answers, 2018).

When the CMU representative reviews an employee’s identity and employment authorization documents, do they make copies of them?

Yes. It is CMU’s practice to make copies of these documents for all employees. Photocopying documents does not relieve the CMU representative of the obligation to fully complete Section 2 of Form I-9, nor is it an acceptable substitute for proper completion of Form I-9 in general (Questions and Answers, 2018).

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated jointly by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows employers to electronically verify an employee's eligibility to work in the United States. The E-Verify system compares information from an employee's Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 to information contained in DHS and SSA databases.

Who must be E-Verified?

All employees who directly perform work on a federal contract or sub-contract that includes the FAR E-Verify clause must complete E-Verify. This includes all current employees hired after November 6, 1986.

How will I know if I am assigned to work on an E-Verify contract?

The department business manager or the principal investigator on the contract will notify you if you are assigned to work on an E-Verify contract and you have not previously completed E-Verify.

Why is Carnegie Mellon participating in E-Verify?

As a federal contractor, Carnegie Mellon is required to use E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of all employees assigned to work on federal contracts containing the FAR E-Verify clause. Failure to comply with E-Verify regulations may jeopardize the university's ability to receive federal contract funds in the future.

If I work on a federal grant, will I need to be E-Verified?

Not necessarily. Only individuals assigned to work on federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the FAR E-Verify clause need to complete E-Verify. Federal grants typically do not include the FAR E-Verify clause. However, if the terms and conditions of the grant contain the FAR E-Verify clause, you will need to complete E-Verify. The Office of Sponsored Programs will notify the principal investigator and the department business manager if a grant contains the E-Verify clause.

I am currently working on a federal contract that includes the E-Verify clause. When do I need to be E-Verified?

  • Existing employees assigned to work on an E-Verify contract must visit the HR Service Center to initiate E-Verify within the later of:
    • 90 days of the date of the contract award (i.e. the start date of the contract); or
    • 30 days of being assigned work on the contract.
  • New employees assigned to work on an E-Verify contract must visit the HR Service Center to complete the I-9 Form and initiate E-Verify within three business days of being hired.

What will I need to do to be E-Verified?

The Principal Investigator or the department business manager should provide you with instructions and an E-Verify request form. You must then visit the HR Service Center with your I-9 documents and the E-Verify request form, if they have not already been provided. A representative from the HR Service Center will enter the information from your I-9 Form into the E-Verify system. The majority of E-Verify cases are completed without any further action by the employee. If there are any problems or additional action is required, you will be contacted by a Human Resources representative.

What happens if I do not have a Social Security number?

You may be allowed to work temporarily without a Social Security number. It is not required to complete the Form I-9. You should work with the Office of International Education to promptly obtain a Social Security number as soon as you are hired. Once you receive a Social Security number, you must return to the HR Service Center to have your Social Security card processed in Workday.

Employees working on a covered federal contract must provide a Social Security number to initiate the E-Verify process. If you do not have a Social Security number, you must still complete the Form I-9 within three business days of being hired. However, the HR Service Center will not submit your information to E-Verify until you obtain a Social Security number.

What documents do I need to complete an I-9 Form/E-Verify?

For a list of acceptable documents needed to complete the I-9/E-Verify, please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Acceptable Documents page.

I completed an I-9 Form when I was first hired. What do I need to complete an E-Verify?

Please contact the HR Service Center to verify that the necessary documentation is on file. If the HR Service Center has the necessary documentation, you will only need to provide the request form with the award information completed by your department.

I previously completed E-Verify while working on a covered federal contract at Carnegie Mellon. Do I need to complete E-Verify again when I am assigned to another covered federal contract?

No. Once you have completed the E-Verify process, you do not need to complete it again while working at Carnegie Mellon, even if you are assigned to work on other contracts containing the E-Verify clause.

I completed E-Verify with a former employer. Do I have to complete E-Verify again?

Yes. Even if you completed E-Verify while working for another employer, you will have to do so again if you are assigned to work on a covered federal contract while working at Carnegie Mellon.

Must employees who work on a covered contract for a short period of time or on an intermittent basis complete E-Verify?

Yes. E-Verify regulations do not exempt employees based on the intermittent nature of the work or the length of time spent performing the work. Therefore, all employees who perform direct work on a covered contract must complete the E-Verify process. In addition to full-time staff and faculty, this may include part-time employees, student employees, federal work study students and temporary employees.

Can my unit E-Verify someone who may work on a federal contract in the future?

No. E-Verify regulations prohibit the university from using E-Verify on existing employees who are not assigned to work on a covered federal contract. 

My unit has many E-Verify contracts. May I simply have every employee in the unit complete E-Verify?

No. Only those employees who are legitimately assigned work on a federal contract may complete E-Verify.

I am working at Carnegie Mellon on Optional Practical Training through my F-1 Visa. May I complete the E-Verify process and extend my OPT STEM status?

No. Carnegie Mellon uses E-Verify only for those employees who are assigned to work on covered federal contracts. Individuals who are not assigned to work on a covered federal contract may not voluntarily complete E-Verify.

I received a tentative non-confirmation result. What do I do now?

If E-Verify responds with a tentative non-confirmation, a Human Resources representative will contact you and provide you with a "Notice to Employee of Tentative Non-Confirmation."

  • Review the Notice to Employee of Tentative Non-Confirmation with the HR representative.
  • You must choose whether to contest or not contest the tentative non-confirmation and indicate your decision by signing the Notice to Employee of Tentative Non-Confirmation. The HR representative will also sign the notice.
    • If you choose not to contest, your employment will be terminated.
    • If you choose to contest the tentative non-confirmation, you must return to the HR Service Center with the HR representative to enter your decision into the E-Verify system.
  • The HR Service Center will provide you with either an "SSA Referral Letter" or a "DHS Referral Letter" printed from the E-Verify system. The letter will contain important information about how to contact the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security to contest the tentative non-confirmation and resolve the problem.
  • As instructed in the Referral Letter, you must contact either SSA or DHS within eight government work days to begin resolving the problem. The problem does not necessarily need to be resolved within eight government work days, but you must at least initiate the resolution process with the appropriate government agency within this time. Once you have contacted the appropriate government agency, Carnegie Mellon will automatically receive updates on your employment eligibility status through the E-Verify system. The Office of Human Resources will notify you of the final result.

I received a tentative non-confirmation result. May I continue to work and be paid while I am resolving the problem with DHS or SSA?

Yes. If you choose to contest a tentative non-confirmation, you may continue to work and receive pay at Carnegie Mellon while resolving the problem with DHS or SSA. You may also begin or continue to work on the covered federal contract during this time.

I chose to contest a tentative non-confirmation result, but I did not contact SSA or DHS within eight government work days. What should I do now?

You should contact SSA or DHS immediately. If you fail to contact SSA or DHS within eight government work days, the E-Verify system will automatically update your status to "No Show/Final Non-Confirmation." If Carnegie Mellon receives a Final Non-Confirmation of your employment eligibility, the university will be compelled to terminate your employment.