What is I-9 Form?

Form I-9 is the Employment Eligibility Verification form.

Once completed, the employer has to keep the form. Form I-9 is not filed with the USCIS.

Form I-9 is used to document the verification of an employee’s authorization to work. An employer must verify that an individual has the authorization to work before he or she starts the job. The employer must request certain documents from a new hire in order to verify that he or she is authorized:

  • A U.S. passport
  • A Green Card
  • A foreign passport with a I-551 stamp
  • An Employment Authorization Document, Form I-766
  • A foreign passport and Form I-94, if authorized to work for a specific employer
  • A passport from the Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands with Form I-94, if under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.

If those documents are not available, the following may serve as proof when provided along with documents such as a social security card, a birth certificate or a U.S. citizen ID card:

  • A driver’s license
  • An ID card
  • A voter’s registration card
  • Military card
  • Native American tribal document

There are three sections to Form I-9. The employee must complete section 1, and employers or their representatives must complete section 2 and 3.

A Form I-9 must be completed every time. Employers have to retain I-9 forms for every one of their employees. There are only a few exceptions:

  • An I-9 is not required if someone was hired on or before Nov. 6, 1986.
  • An I-9 is not required if someone was hired for employment through the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands program on or before Nov. 27, 2009
  • An I-9 is not required if the employee is hired for casual domestic work in a private residence and their work takes on an irregular schedule.
  • An I-9 is not required if the employee is an independent contractor already employed by an company that provides contract services. It is against the law to hire an independent contractor not authorized to work in the United States.
  • An I-9 is not required if the employee is not physically in the United States.