U.S. employers are required by law to verify employment authorization of all workers they hire on or after November 6, 1986, for employment in the United States, regardless of the workers’ immigration status.
A newly-redesigned Form I-9 Customer Guide from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers a number of useful tips to employers seeking answers to employment eligibility verification questions and can be downloaded from the USCIS website.
Employers can also request a free E-Verify and Form I-9 HR Toolkit from the Tracker I-9™ website.
- U.S. employers are required by law to verify the employment authorization of all workers they hire on or after November 6, 1986, for employment in the United States, regardless of the workers’ immigration status.
- Employers who hire or continue to employ individuals knowing that they are not authorized to be employed in the United States, or who fail to comply with employment authorization verification requirements, may face civil and, in some cases, criminal penalties.
- Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, must be completed for each newly hired employee, including U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and temporary foreign workers, to demonstrate the employer’s compliance with the law and the employee’s work authorization.
- The employee must complete Section 1, Employee Information and Verification, of Form I-9. The employee must attest that he or she is a U.S. citizen or national, a lawful permanent resident, or is otherwise authorized to work for the employer in the United States. Each newly hired employee (an employee who has accepted the position) should complete and sign Section 1 no later than the first day of employment, regardless of his or her immigration status.
- The employer is obligated, after physically examining the documents presented by the employee, to complete Section 2, Employer Review and Verification, and Section 3, Updating and Reverification (if applicable), of the I-9 form. Employers must complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within 3 business days of the employee’s first day of employment. If the employment relationship will last less than 3 days, then the employer must verify work authorization and complete Section 2 no later than the first day of employment.
- The employee may provide the documents they choose from those listed on the most recent Lists of Acceptable Documents, which can be found on the I-9 form.
- An employer cannot tell an employee which documents to present for Form I-9 purposes.
- An employee who has been issued temporary work authorization must produce proof of continued work authorization no later than the expiration date.
- Employers should complete Section 3 of Form I-9 when updating and reverifying the employment authorization of an employee whose previous valid authorization has expired.
- Rejecting a document that later proves to be genuine could result in a violation of the anti-discrimination provisions of immigration law, so employers should guard against being overzealous in their inspection of documents the employee presents.
Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Information provided through this website should never replace the need for involving informed counsel on your employment and immigration issues.