Employee Eligibility Form (I-9)
The term employee eligibility form refers to a document used to prove an employee is legally permitted to work in the United States. Employee Eligibility Form (I-9), maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, is used by employers to verify an employee’s identity and prove they are able to legally work in the United States.
All employees, both citizens and non-citizens, must complete Form I-9 if they were hired after November 6, 1986. Employers are required to retain a copy of this form for three years after an employee is hired or one year after they are terminated, whichever is later. Employers must also provide the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Labor, or Department of Justice with access to this document upon demand.
The information a prospective employee is asked to provide on this form includes:
- A signed declaration the employee is a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, or an alien authorized to work in the United States.
- Documentation that can prove their identity such as passports, permanent resident card, alien registration receipt card, driver’s license, an identification card issued by a government agency, voter’s registration card, military identification, Native American tribal document, school records, medical records, Social Security card, and birth certificates (original or copies bearing an official seal).
The employment eligibility form also reminds individuals that federal law provides for imprisonment and / or fines if the applicant makes false claims or provides false documentation. Upon expiration of certain of the above documents, or just prior to their expiration, employers are required to re-verify an employee remains eligible to work in the United States.