Form I-9 is an eligibility form required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986(IRCA) to verify the identity and legal work eligibility of unauthorized immigrants. In fact, if an employer does not include the proper documents for I-9 verification, they may risk legal complications and fines. Verifying each new hire’s eligibility for employment is a critical part of the hiring process.
Required documents for I-9 verification
I-9 verification ensures that companies are only hiring employees who are authorized to work in the U.S., by requiring candidates to provide employers with specific documents that verify theiridentity and work eligibility. There are several documents that can be used forI-9 verification.
- List A: Documents that can verify both the identity and eligibility for legal work
The following documents can be used to verify both employment authorization and identity. This means that as an employer, you should only ask a candidate to present one of the following acceptable documents. Make note that all documents must be unexpired.
- U.S. passport or U.S. passport card
- Alien Registration Receipt Card or Permanent Resident Card with photograph, also known as a Green Card (Form I-551)
- Foreign passport containing a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD) containing a photograph (Form I-766)
- For nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer, a foreign passport and Form I-94
- Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or I-94A
- List B: Documents that only verify the identity for legal work
If any of the previously listed documents are unavailable, a new hire would need to provide two separate documents, which could include one of the following List B documents in addition to one of the documents in List C.
- Driver’s license
- ID card issued by an outlying possession or state of the U.S. that includes a photograph and other information about the candidate’s identity such as name, gender, height, eye color, date of birth and address
- ID card issued by state, federal or local government agencies that contains a photograph and other information about the candidate’s identity such as name, gender, height, eye color, date of birth and address
- Voter’s registration card
- School ID card with a photograph
- U.S. military card or draft record
- U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
- Military dependent’s ID card
- Driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority
- Native American tribal document
3. List C: Documents that only verify the eligibility for legal work
If a candidate is not able to provide one of the documents in List A, one of the following documents must to be presented with a document from List B:
- U.S. social security card issued by the Social Security Administration that is unrestricted and does not have any of the following phrases indicating restriction on it:
- NOT VALID FOR EMPLOYMENT
- VALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH INS AUTHORIZATION
- CALID FOR WORK ONLY WITH DHS AUTHORIZATION
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-240)
- Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (FORM FS-545)
- Certification of Report of Birth issued by the Department of State (Form DS-1350 or FS-545)
- Original or certified birth certificate issued by a county, state, municipal authority or outlying possession of the United States that bears an official seal
- U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
- ID Card for the use of a Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
- Valid employment authorization document issued by the DHS
I-9forms must remain on file for at least three years after the employment period ends. If there any changes made to an employee’s I-9 form, modify the original form and note the date of the changes. It is important to regularly audit yourI-9 form on file to ensure their accuracy. For more information, please visit this link: Link
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