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Employers Should Be Cautious Of Form I-9 Software Programs 

Updated: Mar 25
Employers Should Be Cautious Of Form I-9 Software Programs 

Employers should be cautious of Form I-9 software programs. The federal government does not approve, endorse, or certify any Form I-9 software programs, including any private sector commercial or proprietary products.  

According to the DOJ, employers should avoid using software programs that; (1) automatically pre-populate Form I-9 with employee information derived from information that the employer has accessed externally, such as importing information from an employee’s job application; (2) complete a Form I-9 on an employee’s behalf unless the employer is helping an employee complete Section I as a preparer or translator. In such cases, the employer must complete the required fields for preparers and/or translators; (3) remove any Form I-9 fields, or request more or different information than Form I-9 requires; (4) add or remove steps in the E-Verify process if the employer uses E-Verify. In addition, any software integration must comply with the E-Verify web services Interface Control Agreement. 

Systems can not prevent preparers or translators from assisting an employee in completing Section I. Nor can a system auto-correct, use predictive text, or post-date Form I-9, fail to document any changes made to Form I-9 in an audit trail, or change or update an employee’s Section I citizenship or immigration status attestation.

Suppose an employee is correcting a previously made error. In that case, the employee (or their preparer or translator) must be the one to correct Section I.  A system can not be programmed to send requests for unnecessary documentation (such as reverifying an employee’s identity or impermissibly reverifying an employee’s permission to work in the United States). For example, employers should avoid Form I-9 software programs that generate notifications suggesting an employee must show a different or additional document based on an expiring List B identity document or a Permanent Resident Card. Systems can not be programmed to interface with E-Verify.

Employers should be cautious, follow all laws, rules, regulations, and agency guidance, and always do their due diligence if they are considering using Form I9 software programs.    

For more information, contact the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights section: Call IER’s free employer hotline on how to avoid unlawful discrimination, including when using Form I-9 software programs: 1-800-255-8155 (1-800-237-2515 for the hearing-impaired), available from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday. Calls can be anonymous, and language services are available. Visit for videos, other educational materials, and frequently asked questions for employers and HR professionals. (Available in Spanish at

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