Form I-9

Free Form I-9

Utilize our I-9 form to authenticate a new employee's identity and confirm their eligibility to work in the United States.

Table of Contents

What Is Form I-9?

Form I-9, often referred to as employment eligibility verification, is a mandatory document that newly hired employees must complete to confirm their authorization to work in the United States. While the form contains sections for both the employer and employee to fill out and sign, it is the employer's duty to ensure that the employee completes it on or before their first day of work.

Requirements for Completing Form I-9: A Guide for Employers and Employees

Form I-9, known as employment eligibility verification, is a mandatory document that must be completed by all newly hired employees in the United States. This guide outlines the responsibilities of both employers and employees when it comes to filling out Form I-9 and provides detailed instructions on the verification process. Employers are tasked with supplying the form and guiding employees through the process, while employees are required to present specific documents to establish their identity and work eligibility. The employer, in turn, must review and potentially photocopy these documents before signing the form I-9. This comprehensive guide ensures that both employers and employees understand the necessary steps to fulfill their obligations under Form I-9.

Required Documents for Completing Form I-9: Verifying Identity and Work Authorization in the U.S.

When filling out Form I-9, employees are required to present 1-2 documents that establish both their identity and their eligibility to work in the United States. This critical process ensures that only authorized individuals are employed in the U.S. and that their identity is properly verified.

Here are examples of documents that can be used to fulfill both identity and employment eligibility requirements:

  1. Identity and Employment Eligibility (One Document):
    • U.S. passport or passport card
    • Permanent resident card (Form I-551)
    • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) with a photo
    • Foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp
  1. Identity (One Document):
    • Driver's license
    • School ID or other photo ID card
    • U.S. military or military dependent card
    • For individuals under 18 without a photo ID, alternate forms like doctor or school records may be accepted.
  1. Employment Eligibility (One Document):
    • Social security card
    • Original birth certificate
    • U.S. Citizen ID card (Form I-197)
    • Employment Authorization Document issued by the Department of Homeland Security

Employers must carefully examine these documents to ensure they are genuine and pertain to the employee in question. This thorough verification process is crucial to maintaining the integrity of the workforce and ensuring compliance with U.S. immigration laws.

For more information regarding the documents employees need to provide, see the form I-9 acceptable documents list.

Retention of Form I-9: What Employers Need to Know

Form I-9, used for verifying an employee's identity and eligibility to work in the United States, does not need to be filed with any government agency. Instead, employers are required to retain completed Form I-9 for their records.

Here are the key retention guidelines employers must follow:

  1. Retention Period: Employers must keep an employee's Form I-9 on file for at least three years after the date of hire or for one year after the employee's termination if they worked for more than two years.
  1. Accessible Records: These records must be kept in a manner that allows for prompt retrieval and inspection by authorized government officials, such as officers from the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Labor, or the Department of Justice.
  1. Protection of Employee Privacy: It is essential to protect the privacy of employees and the sensitive information contained in Form I-9. Safeguarding against unauthorized access or disclosure is a legal obligation.

By following these retention requirements, employers ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws and maintain the necessary documentation to verify their workforce's eligibility to work in the United States.


What is the validity of I 9 form?

Employers are legally obligated to retain Forms I-9 for a specific period, which extends for three years following the employee's hire date or one year after their employment concludes, whichever timeframe is longer. This ensures compliance with the regulatory requirements governing employment eligibility verification.

What is proof of eligibility to work in the US?

You only need to present a single valid document to meet the requirements for employment verification. Eligible documents include an unexpired United States passport, an unexpired foreign passport with an I-551 stamp, or an alien registration receipt card or permanent resident card.

What is the latest I-9 form?

Employers can start using the updated Form I-9 as of August 1, 2023. The previous version of Form I-9, dated "10/19/2019," remains valid until October 31, 2023. You can find the version date in the lower-left corner of the form. Starting from November 1, 2023, only the new Form I-9 dated "08/01/23" will be accepted.

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