An Employer's Guide to Determining Eligibility to Work in the United States
NOTE: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has revised its guidelines for proving eligibility to work. This brochure is based on those guidelines updated in the fall of 2007.
Documents from LIST A establish both identity and eligibility to work
Any single document from this list is acceptable for establishing both an employee's identity and eligibility to work:
LIST A: Acceptable documents
- U.S. Passport (unexpired or expired)
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
- An unexpired foreign passport, with a temporary I-551 stamp
- An unexpired Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph (Form I-766, I-688, I-688A, I-688B)
- An unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94, bearing the same name as the passport and containing an endorsement of the alien's nonimmigrant status, if that status authorizes the alien to work for the employer
Alternatively, a document from LIST B may be combined with one from LIST C
LIST B: Documents that establish identity
- Driver's license or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States*
- ID card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities*
- School ID card with a photograph
- Voter's registration card
- U.S. Military card or draft record
- Military dependent's ID card
- U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
- Native American tribal document
- Driver's license issued by a Canadian government authority
For persons under age 18 who are unable to present a document listed above:
- School record or report card
- Clinic, doctor, or hospital record
- Daycare or nursery school record
LIST C: Documents that establish employment eligibility
- U.S. Social Security card issued by the Social Security Administration (other than a card stating it is not valid for employment)
- Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State (Form FS-545 or Form DS-1350)
- Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United States bearing an official seal
- Native American tribal document
- U.S. Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
- ID Card for use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)
- Unexpired employment authorization document issued by DHS (other than those listed under List A)
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to complete a Form I-9 for everyone who applies for a job with my company?
No, only for people you actually hire.
I must complete a Form I-9 for anyone I hire to perform labor or services in return for wages or other remuneration. What is “remuneration?”
Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services, including food and lodging.
Can I fire an employee who fails to produce required documents within three business days?
Yes. You can terminate an employee who fails to produce the required documents, or a receipt for a replacement document if they were lost or destroyed, within three business days of the date employment begins. However, you should apply these practices uniformly to all employees. 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.
What is my responsibility concerning the authenticity of documents presented to me?
You must examine the documents and, if they reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them, you must accept them.
May I accept a photocopy of a document presented by an employee? You must insist on seeing the original of each document (not necessarily the first of its kind ever issued, but the actual document issued by the issuing authority). Photocopies are not acceptable, with the sole exception of a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Your duties as an employer
The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act made U.S. employers responsible for verifying the identity and employment eligibility of all employees they hire to work in the United States. Specifically, you must:
- Have all employees, including U.S. citizens, complete Section I of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) no later than close of business on their first day of work.
- Review the documents that establish each employee's identity and eligibility to work within three business days of the employee's hiring date.
- Complete Section 2, the employer's portion of Form I-9.
- Retain the Form I-9 for at least three years after the date the person begins work or one year after the person is terminated, whichever is later.
- Make the Form I-9 available for inspection by authorized government agencies upon three days' notice.
Employers who fail to properly complete, retain, and/or make available for inspection Forms I-9, as required by law, may face civil penalties of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each employee for whom the Form I-9 was not properly completed, retained, and/or made available.
Verify all new hires to avoid discrimination
Be sure to follow these requirements with all newly hired employees. Requesting identity and eligibility documents only from persons of a particular origin, or from persons who appear or sound foreign, is a violation of the employer sanctions laws and may also be a violation of the Civil Rights Act. In addition, you may not specify which documents in the following lists you will accept from a job applicant.
Article taken from www.adp.com - Automatic Data Processing, Inc.