When you’re starting a new job in the United States, you’ll need to complete an I-9 form to verify your employment eligibility. The I-9 form is a government document that requires you to provide proof of your identity and authorization to work in the US. In this article, we’ll walk you through all the details of the I-9 form, including who needs to complete it, how to fill it out, and what types of documentation are acceptable.
What is the I-9 Form?
The I-9 form is a government document that is used to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new hires in the United States. The form was introduced in 1986 as part of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and is administered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The purpose of the I-9 form is to ensure that employers only hire individuals who are authorized to work in the US. This helps to prevent illegal hiring practices and ensure that all employees are properly documented.
Who Needs to Complete the I-9 Form?
All new hires in the United States must complete an I-9 form, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. This includes US citizens, permanent residents, and non-US citizens who are authorized to work in the US.
The I-9 form must be completed within three days of starting a new job. Employers are responsible for providing the form to new hires and verifying that the information provided is accurate.
How to Fill Out the I-9 Form
The I-9 form consists of three sections: employee information and attestation, employer review and verification, and re-verification and rehire. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out each section:
Employee Information and Attestation:
- Enter your full name, address, and date of birth in the appropriate fields.
- Indicate your citizenship or immigration status and provide the required documentation to verify your identity and employment eligibility.
- Sign and date the form to attest that the information provided is accurate.
Employer Review and Verification:
- Review the information provided by the employee and ensure that it is complete and accurate.
- Examine the documentation provided to verify the employee’s identity and employment eligibility.
- Complete the employer section of the form and sign and date it to verify that the information is accurate.
Re-verification and Rehire:
- If the employee’s work authorization has expired, you must re-verify their employment eligibility by completing Section 3 of the form.
- If the employee is rehired within three years of the original form’s completion, you can complete Section 3 instead of filling out a new form.
The I-9 form requires employees to provide documentation to verify their identity and employment eligibility. The following types of documentation are acceptable:
- US passport or passport card
- Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
- Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- US driver’s license or ID card (if permitted by state law)
- Social Security card
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of US Citizenship or Naturalization
- Foreign passport with temporary I-551 stamp
- Refugee travel document or other immigration documents
What happens if I don’t complete the I-9 form?
If you fail to complete the I-9 form, your employer may be fined and you may not be eligible to work in the US.
What if I don’t have the required documentation to complete the I-9 form?
If you don’t have the required documentation, you may be able to provide alternative forms of identification or request an accommodation from your employer.
Can I use a photocopy of my identification documents?
No, you cannot use a photocopy of your identification documents. You must provide original documentation to verify your identity and employment eligibility.
Can my employer ask for specific types of documentation to complete the I-9 form?
No, employers are not allowed to request specific types of documentation. Employees can provide any document that is listed on the I-9 form as acceptable documentation.
How long does the employer need to keep the I-9 form on file?
Employers must keep the I-9 form on file for at least three years after the employee’s date of hire, or one year after the employee’s termination, whichever is later.
Can I complete the I-9 form before my start date?
No, the I-9 form must be completed within three days of starting a new job.
Can I fill out the I-9 form electronically?
Yes, you can complete the I-9 form electronically as long as the system meets certain requirements and you have access to the necessary technology.
What should I do if there is a mistake on my I-9 form?
If there is a mistake on your I-9 form, you should notify your employer and request a correction.
Can I complete the I-9 form in a language other than English?
Yes, you can complete the I-9 form in a language other than English, as long as the form is also available in English and the person who assists you is fluent in both languages.
Can my employer share my I-9 information with other companies or organizations?
No, your employer is required to keep your I-9 information confidential and cannot share it with other companies or organizations, except in certain circumstances required by law.