Carnegie Mellon University

Update: Due to COVID-19 precautions, the HR Service Center has a new procedure for verifying Form I-9 documents. View the Temporary Instructions for Completing the Form I-9 in Response to COVID-19 [pdf].

Form I-9 and E-Verify

The Office of Human Resources coordinates employment eligibility verification for all university employees.

Federal law requires employers to verify the employment eligibility and identity of all employees hired to work in the United States. To meet these requirements, Carnegie Mellon University uses several tools to confirm the employment eligibility of newly hired faculty, staff and students:

  • Form I-9 — Employers are required to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for all new employees (both citizen and noncitizen). Due to precautions being implemented by the campus community related to physical proximity associated with COVID-19, the Service Center will operate remotely until further notice. Therefore, we have a new procedure in place for verifying Form I-9 documents. For more information, please review the guidance [pdf]
  • E-Verify — New and current employees who are assigned to work on a federally funded project must also be E-Verified. E-Verify is an online system, operated by the Department of Homeland Security, that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of employees.
  • Workday — Workday is CMU’s online human resources information system that captures employee information to verify employment eligibility.

Every employee of the university must complete the Form I-9 at the time of hire. This includes staff, faculty and student employees. Please refer to the information below to determine when an I-9 is needed.


New I-9 Needed?

New employee                   


Unpaid position/volunteer


Returning after any break in service and was not expected to resume employment


Returning after less than one year break and was expected to return to the same job (e.g., adjunct faculty, student, temporary worker)


Returning from unpaid time off (e.g., Family Medical Leave)


Paying out a one-time job or award through Payroll, including graduate students receiving a stipend


Rehired Employees

Employees who leave the university need a new I-9 when they return to university employment. In limited situations, the employee’s previous Form I-9 is acceptable and no action is required.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service sets strict guidelines for when a break in service can be defined as a continuation of the person’s previous employment. You can use the previous I-9 only if the break in service (interruption in employment) meets all of the following conditions:

  • The employee is a faculty member, student, or seasonal/temporary employee
  • At the time of separation, the employee was expected to resume employment within a reasonable time in the future
  • The break in employment was less than one year
  • The employee’s employment authorization documents have not expired

Section 1: Employee Information and Verification

Section 1 of the Form I-9 must be completed on or before the first day of work. The form cannot be completed before the employee has accepted the offer of employment and been entered into Workday.

The new hire can log in to Workday after setting up their Andrew ID and DUO two factor authentication. The I-9 Section 1 task will automatically appear in the employee’s Workday inbox.  

Section 2: Employer Review and Verification

Section 2 must be completed no later than the employee’s third workday. An HR Coordinator from the HR Service Center (or a designated onboarding administrator) will view the original documents from the I-9 List of Acceptable Documents [pdf] to complete this section.

Employees in Pittsburgh must visit the HR Service Center to complete Section 2. Faculty and staff members in Silicon Valley can email and students can email to make an appointment to complete Section 2 by the employee’s third workday. 

Employees with local business offices will complete Section 2 at this office. Employees who are in remote locations must follow the Instructions for Remote Workers [pdf].

The I-9 Section 2 task automatically appears in the inbox of the HR Coordinator after the employee submits Section 1 of the Form I-9.

Section 3: Updating and Re-verification

Form I-9 Section 3 is used to confirm or update the employee’s authorization to work in the United States. Section 3 must be completed by the HR Coordinator and is the last step of the re-hire process. The HR Coordinator will notify the employee to present updated documentation if the employee's previous work authorization documents have expired.

Most federal contracts have a clause stating that any employee working on the contract must be checked in E-Verify. This is required even if the employee was hired before the university began using E-Verify for all new hires. If a current employee who begins working on a federal contract does not have an I-9 with E-Verify on file, the employee must complete a new I-9 in order to satisfy the E-Verify requirement. Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs for guidance on whether a contract has the E-Verify clause.

  • Federal law requires the employee to complete Section 1 of the Form I-9 no later than the first day of work.
  • The employee has until the third workday to present unexpired, original documents to prove identity and authorization to work in the United States. An HR Coordinator or designated onboarding administrator, as a representative of the university, must view the documents and complete Section 2 of the I-9 no later than the third workday.
  • The information from the I-9 must be submitted to E-Verify no later than the third workday if the employee will be working on a federal grant.