All employers, which include churches, schools, daycare facilities, etc., must retain an employment eligibility verification form, also known as a Form I-9, for all current employees. The employers must retain the Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 required employers to verify that all newly hired employees present “facially valid” documentation verifying the employee’s identity and legal authorization to accept employment in the United States. The Form I-9, or more properly the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is made available by the federal government for that purpose. Every employee hired after November 6, 1986 has been required to complete an I-9 form at the time of hire. The Form I-9 is not required for unpaid volunteers or for contractors.
On March 8, 2013, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a new Form I-9. Use of an earlier version of the Form I-9 is no longer acceptable. Therefore, if you have not updated the Form I-9 on all your current employees, it is recommended that you do so.
The revised Form I-9 requires input from both the employee and employer. Although the new form is largely the same, several lay-out changes were made in order to make the form easier to read and more user-friendly.
A variety of forms of identification are acceptable for Form I-9 purposes. To establish identity and employment eligibility, an employee may present the following:
- Unexpired U.S. Passport
- U.S. Passport Card
- A Permanent Resident Card (often called a “green card”) or Alien Registration Receipt Card with photograph
- Driver’s license or I.D. card issued by the state, provided it contains a photograph or identifying information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color and address.
- Federal or state I.D. card
- Voter Registration Card,
- As well as several other forms of identification.
Employers must update or re-verify certain identification documents at or prior to their expiration date. Once verified, an employee’s Form I-9 is valid continuously unless a break of more than a year of employment occurs. International employees, however, have to have periodic recertification.
Additional information on the Form I-9 can be accessed at www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf.