Form I-9 Employment Eligibility: Everything You Need to Know
If you’ve ever applied for a job, you’re probably familiar with the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. This form is used by employers to verify that their employees are authorized to work in the United States. It may seem like a simple form to fill out, but there are many intricacies to the process. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Form I-9, from the basics to the latest updates.
What is Form I-9?
Form I-9 is a two-page document that employers are required to use to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. The form is divided into three sections. The first section is completed by the employee, the second section is completed by the employer, and the third section is completed when the employee’s employment ends.
Why is Form I-9 important?
Form I-9 is important for two reasons: to ensure that employers are hiring legal workers and to protect workers from employment discrimination. By verifying that each employee is authorized to work in the United States, employers are contributing to a fair and legal workforce. The form also helps to protect workers from discrimination based on their citizenship status or national origin.
Who needs to complete Form I-9?
The short answer is that anyone who is employed in the United States needs to complete Form I-9, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status. Both citizens and noncitizens, as well as employees and employers, have responsibilities under U.S. immigration law.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that their employees are authorized to work in the United States. Failure to comply with these laws can result in large fines, sanctions, and even criminal charges. The responsibility to complete Form I-9 falls on the employer, and they can face penalties for improper completion or failure to complete the form altogether.
Employees, on the other hand, are responsible for providing accurate and truthful information on their Form I-9. Providing false information can result in the revocation of work authorization and potential criminal charges.
How do you complete Form I-9?
As previously mentioned, Form I-9 is divided into three sections. Here’s a breakdown of each section and what needs to be completed:
Section 1: Employee Information and Verification
This section is completed by the employee when they start a new job. It requires the employee to provide identifying information, such as name, address, and date of birth. The employee must also indicate their citizenship or immigration status and provide any necessary documentation to verify their eligibility to work in the United States.
The form provides a list of acceptable documents that can be used to establish identity and work authorization. These documents include a U.S. passport, permanent resident card, or work authorization card. It’s important to note that employers cannot specify a particular document that the employee must use; the employee has the right to choose which document they want to use to establish their eligibility to work.
Section 2: Employer Review and Verification
This section is completed by the employer after the employee has provided their documentation and completed Section 1. The employer must review the documentation provided by the employee and certify that it’s valid and establishes the employee’s eligibility to work in the United States.
The employer must also document the issuing authority, document number, and expiration date of the presented documentation. If the employee’s employment is terminated before the expiration of their work authorization, the employer must reverify their eligibility to continue working in the United States.
Section 3: Reverification and Rehires
This section is completed by the employer when an employee’s employment is terminated or rehired within three years of the initial date of hire. If the employee is rehired within three years, the employer must complete Section 3 and reverify their eligibility to work in the United States. If the employee’s employment is terminated, the employer must retain a copy of the completed Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date of termination, whichever is later.
What are the consequences of not completing Form I-9 correctly?
As previously mentioned, failure to comply with Form I-9 requirements can result in significant penalties for employers. Civil penalties can range from $234 to $2,332 per violation, depending on the severity of the violation. Criminal penalties can also be imposed for knowingly hiring undocumented workers or for committing identity theft and document fraud.
In addition to the financial and criminal penalties, noncompliance with Form I-9 requirements can also lead to negative publicity and damage to the employer’s reputation.
Recent Updates to Form I-9
Like many government forms, Form I-9 is subject to updates and revisions. In January 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the latest version of Form I-9, which went into effect on May 1, 2020.
The updated form includes several changes to the instructions and requirements, including:
– Clarification that authorized representatives can complete Section 2 on behalf of employers
– Additional acceptable documents for List C, which establishes employment authorization, including a Form FS-240 Consular Report of Birth Abroad for individuals born overseas to U.S. citizen parents
– Minor changes to the layout and instructions to make the form easier to understand and complete
Employers are required to use the latest version of Form I-9 for all new hires and rehires. Failure to use the correct version of the form can result in penalties and other legal issues.
Form I-9 is an important document that serves as a critical tool for employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of their employees. Employers must ensure that they comply with the latest requirements and use the correct version of the form to avoid penalties and other legal issues. By working together, employers and employees can help to ensure a legal and fair workforce that benefits everyone.
Employment Eligibility Verification
The purpose of Form I-9 is to carry out the Employment Eligibility Verification function. A I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form should be filled out by employers in regard to new employees and specifically toward certifying that they are eligible for employment within the U.S. In particular, the completion of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification is to certify that the employer has received and examined documents from these prospective employees required for proving their identity and right to maintain regular U.S. employment, and reasonably believes these to be true.
Description of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
As a form of documentation, Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification consists of 5 pages which must be filled out by the applicant.
Filing process for Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification is not filed, as such, with the USCIS or the also potentially involved U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) authorities. Rather, the process for entering a completed copy of Form I-9 into legal effect is to fill out at the required time, when the employer and employee are entering into a contractual relationship, and then to maintain this type of documentation into a form which can be later examined, at any time when it becomes necessary, by any properly authorized and accredited U.S. governmental authorities.
Among others, the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification may potentially be examined by such authorities as the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Justice. Aside from the initial point of drawing up the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, the other main consideration for the employer maintaining this type of documentation is for the period during which Form I-9 must be maintained.
Period for maintaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
The period for maintaining Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification will be set in accordance to a starting date, which can be determined in one of two possible ways. As such, the employer responsible for the maintenance of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification must maintain it for a 3-year period kept from the date on which employment went into effect, or a year after employment termination.
Financial obligations inherent in Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification
Unlike other items of documentation also falling under the oversight of the USCIS, filing the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, does not require the applicant to submit any filing fee.
Spanish-language version of Form I-9
Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification can be downloaded from the Internet and printed out in a version which has been translated into Spanish. That being said, the Spanish-language Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification cannot be accepted for official purposes in this version in any of the 50 U.S. states, and will not be accepted as such when the time comes, if even, for employment documentation to be reviewed by administering governmental authorities. The exception to the inadmissibility of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification is for Puerto Rico, where this kind of documentation can be submitted in the version which has been translated into Spanish.