As a part of the hiring process, UCSB departments are required to complete the USCIS I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification) for all new employees, regardless of nationality. You can download the form here.

This page provides basic information on when and how to complete the I-9. It also includes specific information about:

When to Complete the I-9 Form

Complete the I-9 either before or on the date the person starts to work. The I-9 must be completed no later than 3 days from the date the prospective employee starts providing the services for which payment will be made. An I-9 form must be completed for the following situations:
  • a new UCSB employee
  • a break in service of more than 12 months
  • current I-9 is more than 3 years old
  • no copy of an old I-9 available to re-verify or to update, in which case a new I-9 must be completed.

Once completed, the Department sends the original form and supporting documents to Accounting.

How to Complete the I-9 Form

Section 1 of the I-9 form (Employee Information and Verification) must be completed by employee.

  • 1-94 Admission Number is found on the employee's 1-94 document. If the person needs help with this documentation, please have them call the OISS office (893-2929).

Section 2 of the I-9 form (Employer Review and Verification): completed by employer.

  • After the employee completes Section 1, the UCSB department must examine the original documents presented by the employee.
  • It is illegal to indicate to the employee which documents must be presented. The UCSB department may only show the document list, and ask to see either one document from List A, or one from List B and List C.
  • If the document(s) presented appear to be genuine, and to relate to the individual, then the UCSB department completes the verification section, and makes two copies of only the documents accepted as indicated on the form. Accepted documents must be copied for all I-9s including those for U.S. citizens.
  • The original I-9 and copies of the supporting documents should be sent to Accounting.
  • The UCSB department retains a copy of the I-9 and supporting documents

NOTE: The information on the accepted documents must not conflict with the information given in Section 1 of the I-9 form.

Section 3 of the I-9 form (Updating and Re-verification): completed by the employer.

Update of I-9: This is required after any "break in service" of less than 1 year.

  • The UCSB department completes the Section 3 portion to indicate the rehire date and signs in the indicated place. No new documents need to be presented or witnessed. Section 3 must be completed on or before the first day of the new employment period.

Note: Maternity leave is not considered a "break in service" because the person is still considered a continuing employee, so no update is necessary; Returning to seasonal employment (i.e.: student position after summer break) does require an update.

Re-verification of I-9: This is necessary if the I-9 employment authorization end date is near for a Foreign National.

  • This section must be completed BEFORE the current end date, to show that a request for extension of employment permission has been submitted to Immigration, and section 3 must be amended again when the authorization is granted.
  • A copy of the extension request must be attached to the re-verified I-9, and later, a copy of the extension authorization. No new signature from the employee is required.

NOTE: A new I-9 must be prepared if the original one that is being updated or re-verified is more than three years old.

Employing Students in F or J Visa Categories

All continuing students (both in the F as well as in the J student status) can be employed up to 20 hours/week while classes are in session, and up to 40 hours/week during the quarter break periods (including summer), PROVIDED that they are a regularly admitted and enrolled UCSB student.

J-1 students

J-1 students will have an end date for their employment permission on their DS-2019 form. This DS-2019 form as well as their I-94 form should be copied for the I-9 when the visa status is used for employment authorization.

F-1 students

F-1 students will not have an end date on either their I-20 form or I-94 form. Instead both of these documents will have the notation of "D/S" meaning Duration of Status as a student. “D/S” will need to be translated by the UCSB department into a date for the payroll line of PPS as follows:

  • Bachelor's degree - 4 years from beginning of studies
  • Master's degree - 4 years from beginning of studies
  • Ph.D. degree - 8 years from beginning of studies.

The UCSB department will still need to copy the I-20 and the I-94 forms for its I-9 records.

F-1 Practical training (OPT) and J-1 Academic training

Normally an international student can only be employed by the school where he/she is registered. After completion of a U.S. degree, however, a student can receive authorization to be employed anywhere, full time or part time, - provided the employment relates to the degree just completed. This special permission to work is called Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 visa students who will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) that will contain the begin and end dates of the authorized employment period. The special work permission for J-1 visa students is called Academic Training. The work authorization takes the form of a letter that contains the end date of the authorized employment, and this is the date which should be used in the Section 1 of the forms that states “An alien authorized to work until __________.”

NOTE: If a student has just completed a degree here at UCSB, their I-9 form will have to be updated showing that they have the approved Optional Practical Training or Academic Training authorization. They cannot continue to work here until the update is completed.

  • Appointment Line (showing end date of desired appointment) This line should reflect the intended appointment end, regardless of whatever authorization period has been granted.
  • Distribution/payroll line (showing end date of authorization) The distribution/payroll end date must always be the same as, or less than the end date of employment authorization. If a person is a U.S. Citizen, there will not be an end date, but some Permanent Residents have employment authorization end dates (if they hold a green card which is only valid for 2 years, the green card expiration is their authorization end date), and all Foreign Nationals have end dates.
  • 9 over 12 academic appointments
    In the case of the "9 over 12" academic appointments, the prospective employee may be placed on the payroll long before they actually start to work at UCSB. Still, the I-9 must be completed NO LATER than three days from the date they begin providing services for UCSB. The other payroll documents will have to be prepared as usual.
  • U.S. Nationals
    U.S. Nationals will be able to complete the I-9 at the same time the other payroll documents are completed.
  • Foreign Nationals
    Foreign Nationals will have to wait until they are inside the U.S. and have been granted permission to work at UCSB before they can begin providing services and complete the I-9 form.

NOTE: The I-9 is not required for a "No Pay Appointment".

Special Issues

  • Notarization of I-9 done away from UCSB
    When the I-9 is completed within the U.S., but away from Santa Barbara, the law allows a Notary to act on the behalf of the employer in witnessing the original documents, and the completeness of the form, and signing Section 2 on the employer's behalf. The Notary must also attach the document copies.


    Although the form may be completed on UCSB's behalf in this manner, the UCSB department is still responsible for the information on the form as well as for the completeness of the form.

    If you need to have a Notary complete the I-9, please give yourself enough time before the three day deadline, so if this procedure is incomplete or inaccurately done by the Notary, you can have this corrected before the person has been employed for three business days.

    NOTE: Notaries are not all aware of their role in the I-9 completion. Some think that they are supposed to notarize the employee's signature, or to attest to the accuracy of a Xerox copy as being a true copy of the original of any form.

  • Off Campus Employment Authorization
    An international student may obtain special permission, while a continuing student to work somewhere other than with the institution where he/she is studying. This is called "Off-Campus" work permission. This permission will have hourly limits attached to it (i.e.: 20 hrs/week during the quarter, and 40 hrs/week during the break periods) and the student will have an authorization document which indicates these limits and the authorization end date.
  • Permanent Resident with 2 year “conditional” end date for employment authorization
    Usually when someone obtains Permanent Residence through marriage to a U.S. Citizen, the initial period of the P/R status and employment authorization is given on a “conditional” basis for a two year period. The conditions are removed when the 10 year green card is obtained at the end of the 2 year green card’s validity.

    NOTE: The regular 10 year green card holder does not have an end date for employment authorization. The expiration of the 10 year card is for the purpose of updating the photo and biometric information of the green card holder.
  • Missing documents

    3 day rule
    When no acceptable documents are available for a particular column, the person may provide you with a receipt for replacement of the missing document. If this is done within the three business day limit for completing the I-9, then you can employ the person for 90 days under the 90 day rule. See below.

    90 day rule
    If you are given a receipt for a missing form, you may indicate an employment end date of 90 calendar days from the date the person started to work at UCSB. This date should be entered on the payroll line in PPS, as well as in the Visa/Employment authorization section (but the PPS Appointment line should indicate the desired employment period). Also, please indicate "90 day rule" in the PAN notice section of the Personnel Payroll System (PPS).

    This will give the person a chance to either obtain a replacement, or come up with another acceptable document before the end of the allowed employment period. If nothing can be obtained within the 90 days, then the person must stop working until a suitable document can be provided.
  • Update I-9 form while extension of authorization is pending

    240 day rule

    If the application for extension of the person’s employment authorization has been submitted to Immigration before the previous end date, then the employment authorization deadline is automatically extended from the prior end date by 240 days while we wait for them to approve the request, (or until a denial is obtained from Immigration). NOTE: This only applies to extension of the same employment permission, not a request for a new kind of permission. Please submit a re-verified I-9, copy of the extension request or approval, change the employment end date on the PPS screen, and indicate "240 day rule" in the comments section of the PAN notice section of the Personnel Payroll System (PPS).

I-9 Form Instructions