Federal Law Requires that Every Employer Who Recruits, Refers for a Fee, or Hires an Individual for Employment in the U.S. Must Complete Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Form I-9 will help you verify your employee’s identity and employment authorization. All U.S. employers must fill out and retain a Form I-9 for each worker they hire within 3 days of employment. This employment eligibility verification form makes certain that the worker can legally work in the United States.
The first step in the I-9 completion process begins when the employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9, no later than their first day of employment.
You may have your employees complete Form I-9:
- On their first day of employment (the actual commencement of employment of an employee for wages or other remuneration, referred to as date of hire in the Department of Homeland Security regulations); or
- Before their first day of employment, if they accepted your job offer
Preparers and translators can help employees complete Section 1.
Employees must present unexpired original documentation that shows the employer their identity and employment authorization. The employee chooses which documentation to present.
Employees must present:
Note the following:
- List A contains documents that show both identity and employment authorization
- List B documents only show identity only
- List C documents only show employment authorization only
The employer or an authorized representative of the employer completes Section 2 of the I-9 form. Employers or their authorized representatives must physically examine the documentation presented by the employee and sign the form.
Employees rehired three years after the initially-completed Form I-9 must complete a new Form I-9. In addition, when an employee’s employment authorization expires, you must reverify to ensure your employee is still authorized to work. To find out if your employee’s employment authorization expires, look in Section 1 for the date that employment authorization expires and in Section 2 for the date that the employment authorization document expires. The employment authorization expiration date provided by your employee in Section 1 may not match the document expiration date recorded under List A or List C in Section 2. The earlier date must be used to determine when reverification is necessary.
In recent years, I-9 inspections and workplace audits by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have become more common and the fines for Form I-9 violations can be significant. Employers can face fines ranging between $110 and $1,100 for each missing or inaccurate I-9 form.
It is vital that all employers have a system for maintaining organized and accurate I-9 forms. At Dworken and Bernstein, we offer annual I-9 verification as well as assistance with I-9 form inspections to ensure compliance at your workplace. Having an experienced attorney from Dworken and Bernstein to audit your I-9 forms each year can ensure that you avoid these fines and that your workers are all legally authorized to work in the United States. To learn more about our I-9 compliance services, or to speak to one of our knowledgeable immigration attorneys, contact our offices today.