The USCIS Form I-9 is an employment verification document created by the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Employers have to prove that the workers they hire are eligible for work in the U.S. as well as verify identities and the I-9 form is how that requirement is fulfilled. Employers who want to learn more about the process can reference Part 13 of the Handbook for Employers (M-274).
Section 1. of the form is your information. You'll enter your last name, first name, middle initial, address, date of birth, Social Security number, email address and phone number.
In the next box, you'll attest (certify formally) your citizenship status. The final step is to sign and date. You can sign and date without your employer witnessing your signature.
To complete the I-9 Form, your employer will look at the documents you provide (see documentation section) and will fill out the remaining page of the form.
As a new employee, you can expect to receive this form from your human resources manager or hiring point of contact. You'll need to fill out the form as well as provide the approved forms of documentation.
Most companies require you to complete this step within the first week of starting the job. The I-9 excerpt below displays the types of documents or IDs you're required to show. You'll have to bring the original form of the ID to your place of employment; photocopies or electronic versions are not allowed. For many employees, this means bringing your passport with you on your first day of work.
It's important to note your employer must accept any of the documents listed below, provided they are originals/certified copies. Employers aren't allowed to choose one form of preferred ID; they must follow the guidelines listed in the I-9 Form.
You only need one document from this list because these documents establish both identity and employment eligibility.
These documents verify your identity.
These documents establish your employment eligibility.
Most paid workers are required to submit I-9 forms to their place of employment.
However, you don't need an I-9 form if you:
You have three days from your start date to complete the form. Legally, you can be fired, or "terminated," if you fail to provide the required documentation. Most employers will have you complete the form during your first day of work as part of the onboarding/new-hire process.
Your form is valid at your employer indefinitely unless you have a gap in employment that exceeds one year.
Students, exchange visitors and foreign nationals on work visas are required to have their I-9 Form reverified with each extension.
Employers must retain I-9 Forms for three years after an employee's start date, or, for one year after termination (whichever is the later date).
In 1986, President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) into law. This strengthened immigration enforcement which included requiring U.S. employers to verify employment eligibility for new employees.
As an employer, you can verify employee information using the government's online E-Verify system, available for all 50 states. The government states that it's "the best means available to electronically confirm employment eligibility." To use the site, you'll need your employee's Social Security which enables records to be checked in the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.
Fairygodboss strives for accuracy in all articles. However, the information contained in this article should not be considered legal advice. State and federal laws often change which means this article might not reflect the most recent updates.