Paper Trails

What is the Form I-9?

As part of a business’ employee onboarding process, each new hire completes the Form I-9. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, this document is required for each employee of any business. While all businesses use this form, many may not understand why. Let’s take a look at what the Form I-9 is.

What is the Form I-9?

The Form I-9, officially called the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is a form that is used for two purposes. First, the form is used to verify an individual’s identity. Secondly, this document provides verification that an employee is eligible to work in the United States. This is done by the new hire submitting acceptable proof of identity. As stated on the form, acceptable forms of identity are shown below.

What is the Form I-9

New hires must provide at least one document from List A or two documents, one from List B and one from List C. While it is not a requirement, many businesses file copies of the employee’s identification documents.

When does the I-9 need to be completed?

All new hires must complete section 1 of this document on or before their first day of employment. In addition, new hires must also provide identification documents within three business days of their start date. Employers must complete section 2 of the I-9 within the same three business days.

Some documents used for the I-9 will need to be reverified upon expiration. The most important instance is surrounding those with temporary work authorizations. Employees with this status must indicate their employment authorization expiration date under section 1, and employers will need to reverify employment eligibility before that expiration date by completing either section 3 of the Form I-9 or by completing a new form. If a reverification is not completed by the expiration date, the employee must not continue to work.

Who must complete a Form I-9?

Businesses of all sizes must receive a completed form from all of their employees. Furthermore, even if the duration of the job will be less than three days, a completed document is required.

Businesses can use the E-Verify system to verify the eligibility and identify of potential applicants. This is a free online system that allows employers to check employee eligibility quickly and easily.

What do I do once the I-9 is completed and verified?

Once the employee and the employer have finished completing the form and the identification records have been verified, the document should be filed in the employee records in case of an I-9 audit.