I-9 Basics


Basic Requirements of I-9 Compliance

What is required to verify work authorization?

The basic requirement to verify work authorization is the Form I-9. This form is available through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services athttp://uscis.gov/graphics/formsfee/forms/files/i-9.pdf.  The back of the form lists the types of documents that a new hire must provide to verify his or her identity and that he or she is authorized to work in the United States.

Who must complete the Form I-9?

Employers must fill out and keep a Form I-9 for every person hired on or after November 6, 1986.

Why must United States citizens fill out I-9 forms?

The I-9 form is designed to determine who is authorized to work in the United States. Its purpose is not to determine who is and who is not a citizen. While all citizens are authorized to work here, it is not always easy to recognize who is and is not a citizen because of the diverse heritage of our country.  Employers must do an I-9 form for every employee, not just those who appear to be non-citizens.  

Do I need to complete a Form I-9 for everyone who applies for a job with my company?

No. You need to complete Form I-9 only for people you actually hire. For purposes of the I-9 rules, a person is "hired" when he or she begins to work for you for wages or other compensation.

When must the Form I-9 be completed?

The Form I-9 must be completed within three business days of the date employment begins.  If the new hire claims that the necessary documents where lost, stolen or destroyed, the person must provide a receipt for replacement documents within the three days.  If an employee has presented a receipt for a replacement document, he or she must produce the actual document within 90 days of the date employment begins.

Can I terminate an employee who fails to produce the required documents within three business days?

Yes. You may terminate an employee who fails to produce the required documents, or a receipt for a replacement documents (in the case of lost, stolen or destroyed documents), within three business days of the date employment begins. However, you must apply these practices uniformly to all employees and not just to those who do not appear to be citizens.