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Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification

The federal Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is used by employers as a record of their basis for determining eligibility of an employee to work in the United States. The form is kept by the employer and made available for inspection by officials of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices.

Submission of the information required in this form is voluntary. However, an individual may not begin employment unless this form is completed, since employers are subject to civil or criminal penalties if they do not comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986.

All employees, citizens and noncitizens, hired after November 6, 1986, must complete Section 1 of this form at the time of hire, which is the actual beginning of employment. The employer is responsible for ensuring that Section 1 is timely and properly completed.

Employers must complete Section 2 by examining evidence of identity and employment eligibility within three (3) business days of the date employment begins. If employees are authorized to work, but are unable to present the required document(s) within three business days, they must present a receipt for the application of the document(s) within three business days and the actual document(s) within ninety (90) days. However, if employers hire individuals for a duration of less than three business days, Section 2 must be completed at the time employment begins.

Employers must record:

  1. document title
  2. issuing authority
  3. document number
  4. expiration date, if any
  5. the date employment begins

Employers must sign and date the certification. Employees must present original documents. Employers may, but are not required to, photocopy the document(s) presented. These photocopies may only be used for the verification process and must be retained with the I-9. However, employers are still responsible for completing the I-9.

Employers must complete Section 3 when updating and/or reverifying the I-9. Employers must reverify employment eligibility of their employees on or before the expiration date recorded in Section 1. Employers CANNOT specify which document(s) they will accept from an employee.

File Descriptions:
These files are in Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf), and you will need the free Acrobat Reader to view and print the files.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
Handbook for Employers: Instructions for Completing the Form I-9

More information:
The I-9 Form

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