Completing Form I-9
When must the I-9 Form be completed?
The heart of the Form I-9 law requires: (1) The employer must examine documents presented by the employee to establish the worker’s identity and employment authorization; and, (2) The employer must certify and date its examination of the documents presented.
Form I-9 Sections 1 and 2 are each critical to maintaining the integrity of the employment eligibility verification system, and underlie I-9 enforcement penalties.
Completing Section 1—Employee Information and Verification
Form I-9 Section 1 consists of an employee attestation, in which the employee provides information under oath about his or her status in the United States.
One of the four boxes in the attestation section must be checked. The employee is required to declare his/her employment eligibility. If s/he checks the wrong box, misrepresenting his/her eligibility, it is a serious felony!
- Citizen: If the first box is checked, nothing more is necessary. The employee has attested that s/he is a U.S. citizen.
- Noncitizen National: If the second box is checked, nothing more is necessary. The employee has attested that s/his a noncitizen national of the U.S.
- Lawful Permanent Resident: If the third box is checked, it is necessary for the employee to write in his/her A number on the line provided.
- Alien Authorized to Work: If the fourth box is checked, it is necessary for the employee to write in the date his/her work authorization expires and provide either the alien number or the admission number on the work authorization card.
The employer MAY assist the employee in getting the correct documents ONLY if the employee asks for assistance.
Section 2—Employer Review and Verification
The employer completes Section 2 of Form I-9. The employee should not enter any information in Section 2. Form I-9 Section 2 consists of an employer attestation, which has two separate components: a documentation part and a certification part.
Documentation. Form I-9 Section 2 documentation part requires the employer list the specific documents offered by the employee, and examined by the employer the employer, to establish a worker’s identity and eligibility for employment.
The employee must present an original document(s) that establishes identity and employment authorization within 3 business days of the date of hire. Some documents establish both identity and employment authorization (List A Documents). Other documents establish identity only (List B Documents) or employment authorization only (List C Documents). The employee may select the document(s) s/he wants to use from the List of Acceptable Documents. This list appears on the last page of Form I-9.
Employer Certification. Form I-9 Section 2 requires the employer or agent to sign Form I-9 under penalty of perjury within three days of hiring an employee certifying that the employer examined the documents identified and found that they appear to be both genuine and related to the individual named:
- The document photo looks like the individual;
- The date of birth is consistent with the individual; and,
- There is not reason to doubt the credibility of the documents as they relate to the individual presenting them.
The employer must physically examine the original documents presented by the potential employee as proof of employment eligibility. The employer must examine the documents presented to ensure they appear to be genuine and relate to that individual. The employer must fully complete Section 2 of Form I-9.
If the employer participates in the E-Verify Program it may only accept List B documents that bear a photograph.
There are special circumstances involved in completing Form I-9 for minors and persons with disabilities (“special placement”).
Form I-9 Acceptable Documents
The new hire must present a document or documents that establish identity and employment eligibility. All documents must be unexpired. By law, the employer is not permitted to ask individuals to present specific documents. The List of Acceptable Document on the back of the Form I-9.
List A documents contain BOTH a photo ID and documentation that shows a person is authorized to work in the United States. If a person does not present a document from List A, s/he must present one document from List B to establish his/her identity AND one document from List C to establish his/her eligibility to work in the United States./p>
LIST A Documents Establish BOTH Identity and Work Authorization
LIST B Documents Establish Identity
LIST C Documents Establish Work Authorization
The following documents are not acceptable for I-9 Verification
- Social Security Card with “Not eligible for employment without DHS authorization” or “Not valid for employment” written on it.
- Laminated Social Security Cards that say “Not valid if laminated” on the back.
- Unofficial (hospital-issued) copies of a birth certificate. However, for a student, a school ID and a letter from a parent will suffice for List C until a government-issued birth certificate is obtained.
- Foreign driver licenses. If the employee presents a driver license it must be a valid state driver license. The only foreign driver license that may be accepted is a Canadian driver license.