I-9 and E-Verify

Teachers College I-9 and E-Verify

General Information

The Form I-9 is a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services form used by employers to confirm employees’ identities and to confirm that workers are qualified to accept employment in the United States. Federal law requires that all employees verify their identity and eligibility to work in the United States by completing the Form I-9 within 3 business days of hire. Completing the Form I-9 is an easy two-step process that involves providing basic, personal information online through a secure web form and presenting original documents in-person to an HR representative to complete the process. It is important for the College to be in full compliance with the law by verifying the eligibility of every faculty or staff member, as well as student employees. When completing the I-9 process, only specific, original, and unexpired documents will be accepted based on an individual's citizenship status. No photocopies, pictures, scanned documents, videos, etc., will be accepted as proof of identity. To see the list of acceptable documents, please review them here. This page outlines everything you need to know about the Form I-9, including steps to complete your I-9 process.

I-9 and E-Verify Process

Every employee of the College must complete the Form I-9 at the time of hire.

This includes staff, faculty, and student employees. Regular and temporary, part-time, and full-time employees are all subject to the I-9 employment verification process. Please note that if an employee leaves the College and returns a year or more later, they must complete the I-9 process again.


Please refer to the table below to determine when an I-9 is needed.


Position / Situation

Is  I-9 Verification Required?

New Employee


New Temp/Interim Employee


New Student Worker (Work Study Employee)


Unpaid Volunteer


Employee returning from paid time off


Employee returning after less than one year break and is returning to the same department/position


Employee returning after any break in service longer than 1 year


Employee being paid out for one-time job or award through Payroll, including graduate students receiving a stipend


Federal Law requires that employees must complete Section 1 on or before their first day of employment, and Section 2 of the Form I-9 must be completed in person no later than three (3) business days from their employment start date. Failure to complete the steps outlined within this time frame will result in denied authorization to work, termination, and/or in delayed payment.

Once your offer letter has been signed, Section 1 of the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility will need to be completed online, on or before your first day of work. The link to your Form I-9 will be emailed to you from hr@tc.columbia.edu within 24-48 hours after accepting your offer. 

Once Section 1 has been completed, you will need to schedule an appointment to complete Section 2 and present your original documentation in person.

Section 2 must be completed in person in the HR office or by visiting a consortium institution nearest to you if you are not within commuting distance of the College.

To utilize a consortium option, please email your zipcode to hr@tc.columbia.edu.

E-Verify is an Internet-based system that enables employers to electronically verify United States work eligibility of employees. The system compares employee information taken from the Form I-9 against the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security databases.

As both a Federal Contractor and an institution that employs students who have earned degrees in certain science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, the College participates in the Federal E-Verify program.

The E-Verify process is integrated with our Form I-9 Tracker system.

A Social Security Number (SSN) is not required for the Form I-9, but is required for E-Verify. If you do not yet have a SSN when you complete the Form I-9, you will leave the Social Security number empty on the I-9 form. For assistance applying for a SSN, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).

Once you have a Social Security Number, you must present your card to Human Resources. The E-Verify process will be completed once Teachers College has received your Social Security Number.

HR Location and Hours

Mailing Address:

525 W 120th Street, Box 149
120 Whittier Hall
New York, NY 10027


120 Whittier Hall,
1230 Amsterdam Avenue, between W 120th and W 121st Street

Office Hours:

Monday - Thursday, 9 am - 5 pm

Fridays, 9am - 1pm (remote only)

Our walk-in hours for onboarding and I-9 verifications will be Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 4 pm. The office is operating remotely on Fridays. 


To access Teachers College, please ensure you have a valid Teachers College ID or a valid government-issued ID.

Helpful Links


Teachers College, Columbia University uses a secure online I-9 system called Tracker to complete the I-9 verification, E-Verify employees, and determine employment eligibility.

Section 1 of the Form I-9 must be completed on or before your first day of employment, as outlined in your offer letter. Section 2 of the  Form I-9 must be completed in person in the HR Office on or before your third day of employment. For example, if you began work on Monday, you must complete Section 2 by Thursday of that week.

No. Weekends and federal holidays (during which the college is closed) will not count towards your 3-day deadline for I-9 completion.

Failure to complete the steps within the aforementioned time frame will result in denied authorization to work, termination, and/or in delayed payment.

No. Only original, unexpired documentation is acceptable to complete Section 2. The verifier must examine the original documents and evaluate whether these documents reasonably appear to be genuine.

NO. Documents must be unexpired and original (no copies allowed).


If a faculty, staff, or student worker is rehired within three years of their most recent I-9 completion date at the University, they do not have to complete a new I-9, nor do they have to present their documents. The department will complete Section 3 in I-9 Tracker and confirm that the Social Security number on their existing I-9 form is the same as the one in Tracker.

You may be allowed to work temporarily without a Social Security number. It is not required to complete the Form I-9. However, it is required to E-Verify your I-9 case. If you are a student, you should work with the Office of International Students and Scholars 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 Office to have your Social Security card processed in Tracker.

Back to skip to quick links