Employers have three business days after hiring someone to collect information and complete the I-9 employment eligibility verification form, whether on paper or using the E-Verify electronic system. This has long been known as the "three-day rule," but it has–according to a recent United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) statement–often been misinterpreted.

According to the USCIS clarification, the first day of work is not included in the three days. Therefore, if an employee starts work on Monday, the I-9 is not due until Thursday.

However, if the new hire’s employer is using the E-Verify electronic database system, the date that the employer enters the new hire’s name into E-Verify counts as the first day even if the person isn’t on the job yet. Perhaps because of this, the USCIS has also just added a drop-down menu so users can choose a reason for the delay if the verification takes place after three days. 

Personnel Concepts offers a comprehensive I-9 Verification section on its Web site where customers can find a variety of products to help them with both the verification process and the use of E-Verify.