Form I-9 Revisions

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Most Common Employment Law Issues:

Eligibility to Work in US: What is an I-9 Form?

The Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is used by employers to verify that an employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. It’s an employer’s responsibility to verify identity as well as work authorization, complete and keep Form I-9.

What Documents Do Employees Need to Produce?

Form I-9 also contains a list of documents which a person can submit to verify eligibility to work in the U.S. These required documents are meant to establish identity and employment eligibility. There are 3 lists of documents required by Form I-9.

Verifying Both Identity and Employment Eligibility: What are "List A" Documents?

"List A" contains documents that establish both identity (proving that the person is who they claim to be) and employment eligibility. Any single document from this list is sufficient. These documents include a U.S. passport, an unexpired foreign passport with an I-551 stamp, a permanent resident card, an unexpired temporary resident card, an unexpired employment authorization card, and an unexpired employment authorization card issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Understanding Form I-9 Revisions: How did "List A" Requirements Change?

Recently, 5 documents have been removed from "List A," meaning they are no longer valid to establish identity and eligibility. These include: the certificate of U.S. citizenship, a certificate of naturalization, an alien registration receipt, an unexpired reentry permit, and an unexpired refugee travel document.

These changes were made to bring the form in compliance with the document reduction requirements of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, which was designed to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws.

Alternatives to "List A": What other Documents Verify Identity and Employment Eligibility?

If the applicant cannot produce a document from "List A," he or she will have to produce one document each from "List B" (to establish identity) and "List C" (to establish eligibility to work).

  1. Verifying Identity with "List B" Documents: "List B" documents include a driver’s license or I.D. card issued by a U.S. state, a school I.D. card with a photograph, a voter registration card, and other similar documents.
  2. Verifying Employment Eligibility with "List C" Documents: "List C" documents include a U.S. social security card, a birth certificate from the U.S., a U.S. citizen I.D. card, and other similar documents.

When Should I Seek Attorney’s Help?

If you are confused about your work eligibility status in the US and/or suspect you’ve made an error in Form I-9, you may need advice from an attorney specializing in immigrant employment law. A qualified attorney may help employers ensure Form I-9 compliance. Further, if you hire many remote employees, an attorney may advise you about designating agents to complete forms on your behalf.

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Last Modified: 08-16-2013 04:05 PM PDT

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