Compensation &; Payroll
I-9 Document Dilemma
Q: What employee documents are acceptable for I-9 purposes, and must all documents be “unexpired”?
A: Although a list of acceptable documents for employment eligibility verification purposes is on page three of the I-9 form, the current I-9 form does not reflect the current list of acceptable documents. The most up-to-date list of acceptable documents can be found in Department of Homeland Security regulations. It was expected that the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would produce a new I-9 form in 2006. USCIS has not yet produced a new form, and there is no information available on an anticipated delivery date.
Using the most current list, employees may present one document from List A, which establishes both identity and employment eligibility, or one document from List B to establish identity and one document from List C to establish employment eligibility. No other documents are acceptable for employment eligibility verification purposes. The only documents that must be “unexpired” are those documents from List A that state “unexpired” on the most up-to-date list of acceptable documents. There is one exception—an “unexpired” employment authorization document, from List C, must also be “unexpired.” Employers may not specify which documents an employee is required to present. Such a requirement can be considered “document abuse” and is an unlawful immigration-related employment practice.
If any of the documents listed as “unexpired” on the most up-to-date list of acceptable documents are used for employment eligibility verification purposes, the employer is responsible for reverifying that document and employment eligibility no later than the expiration date of that document. Most employers find it useful to institute a system that reminds them automatically, in advance, that a given employee's employment eligibility document will expire. It is important for the employer to give plenty of advance notice to the employee about the impending expiration of the employment eligibility and explain the consequences if the employee is unable to produce new documentation for employment eligibility. This allows employees time to apply for and receive replacement documents in time to maintain uninterrupted employment.
To reverify the I-9, the employer may complete Section three of the original I-9 form or complete section one and section three of a new I-9 form. If the employer chooses to complete a new I-9 form, the original I-9 form should be attached to the new I-9 form.
Article by Lesa Albright, SPHR, GPHR is an HR knowledge advisor in the SHRM HR Knowledge Center from http://www.shrm.org/kc/solutions/articles/archives/CMS_022886.asp#P-8_0