I9 Form - Employment Eligibility Verification

Using I-9 to Verify Employee Work Eligibility
••• Using I-9 to Verify Employee Work Eligibility. PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images

Employers who hire workers have a number of laws to adhere to, including immigration laws. The I-9 is one of the forms needed when hiring an employee. 

What is Form I-9?

A Form I-9 (PDF) or Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is used to provide documentation that a newly hired employee is authorized to work in the U.S. All new hires must fill out this form and provide appropriate documentation of (1) identity and (2) employment eligibility.

The I-9 Form must be completed at the time each employee is hired, and all citizens and non-citizens working in the U.S. must complete the form.

The newest version of the I-9 Form, with expiration date 3/31/2016, must be used by employers, beginning May 7, 2013.

How Does the I-9 Form Process Work? 

The new employee attests that he/she is legally eligible to work in the U.S. and that the documents acceptable to verify employment eligibility re valid. You must examine the documents and attest to your belief that they are valid. The person must provide either (1)a document establishing both identity and eligibility, like a passport or permanent resident ("green") card, or (2) one document establishing identity (a driver's license, for example) and another establishing employment eligibility (a Social Security card). All of the information is explained in the I-9 document.

 Using E-Verify to Document Worker Eligibility

In addition to the I-9 Form, employers can apply for the USCIS E-Verify system, which allows you to provide I-9 information, access federal databases, and get a determination of eligibility online.

The I-9 form is used to collect information on employee eligibility for the E-Verify application. 

Read more about How to Complete Form I-9, and how to find answers to commonly asked questions about Form I-9.

Where Do I Get I-9 Forms? 

You can download the forms from the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service website.

You can also email your request to I-9Central@dhs.gov.   

What Do I Do with Form I-9? 

Form I-9 isn't filed anywhere, and there are no filing fees. You should keep all I-9 forms in your employee records in case of an audit by the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service.  

Anti-discrimination Notice in Form I-9

The I-9 Form contains this anti-discrimination notice:

It is illegal to discriminate against work-authorized individuals. Employers CANNOT specify which document(s) they will accept from an employee. The refusal to hire an individual because the documents have a future expiration date may also constitute illegal discrimination.

More about Form I-9 and verifying employee eligibility.