If you are considering employing one or more persons for your business, you are required to comply with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requirements for verifying the identity and employment eligibility of each individual you hire.
I. Purpose of Form I-9
The Form I-9, employment eligibility verification, is used to establish the employment eligibility of persons being considered for employment, and therefore requiring you to hire only those persons who are eligible to legally work in the U.S.
The law also obliges U.S. employers not to discriminate against individuals on the basis of national origin or citizenship, or require different documents from an individual.
Note: Independent contractors are not subject to the I-9 requirement, but if you know an independent contractor lacks work authorization, retaining the contractor will constitute a violation of Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).
II. Who Requires Form I-9
All employees, citizens and noncitizens, hired after November 6, 1986, must complete the Form I-9 at the time of hire, which is the actual beginning of employment. The employer is responsible for ensuring that section one is completed properly and in time.
You (U.S. employer) must have a Form I-9 in your files for each new employee, unless:
A. The employee was hired before November 7, 1986, and has been continuously employed by you
B. The employee is providing domestic services in your private household, and the services are sporadic, irregular or intermittent
C. The employee is providing services as an independent contractor (i.e. carry on independent business, contract to do a piece of work according to their own means and methods and are subject to control only as to results for whom you do not set work hours or
provide necessary tools to do the job, or whom you don’t have authority to hire and fire)
D. The employee is providing services under a contract, subcontract, or exchange entered into after November 6, 1986. (In such cases, the contractor is the employer for I-9 compliance purposes for example, a temporary employment agency)
III. Completing Form I-9
The Form I-9 must be completed for each employee within three days of the start of employment. If the duration of employment is less than three days, Form I-9 must be completed at the time employment begins.
A. Section One of the Form
You must ensure that the employee fully completes section one of the Form at the time of hire, when the employee begins to work, by filling in the correct information, signing, and dating the Form.
If your employee cannot complete the Form, or if they need translation, you must assist them in completing the Form. You are responsible for reviewing and ensuring that your employees fully and accurately complete section one.
B. Section Two of the Form
Employees must present to you original documents that establish identity and employment eligibility within three business days of the date employment begins.
You must then examine the original documents presented by the employee and then fully complete section two of the Form
C. Section Three of the Form
You must complete section three of the Form I-9 when updating and/or re-verifying the I-9. You must re-verify employment eligibility of your employees on or before the expiration date recorded in section one.