To work in the US, employees must be either US permanent residents, US citizens, or must have correct employment authorization (usually through a specific visa). Employment authorization ensures that US companies can keep workers safe, can keep jobs for US workers, and can keep work standards and wages fair. The government takes employment authorization seriously and requires employers to verify the employment authorization status of all new employees before hiring. The government also checks periodically to ensure that employers hire authorized workers only.
Employers and the government both rely on Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification)
to ensure that workers are authorized to work in the US. Employers must have the Form I9 for each employee and if a government agency or agent requests the form, they must be able to show this form. I 9 must be kept in employer files for one year after an employee leaves employment or for three years after the hiring process for a current employee.
Employees must file USCIS Form I-9 by filling out the form. Part one of the Employment Eligibility Verification form asks for personal information and identifying information, such as address, name, birthday, and social security number. The employee must also indicate how he or she is authorized to work in the US – whether through a green card, permanent residency, or citizenship.
In addition, when submitting immigration Form I-9, applicants must submit supporting documentation to prove authorization to work in the US as well as identity documents. Once the employee has filled out part one of Form I9 and has the supporting documents, the employer must complete section two, which asks the employer to verify the documents used for employment authorization and identification.
Once immigration form I 9 is completed and filed, it must be kept up to date. If an employee is rehired within three years, changes their name, or has his or her identification documents or employment authorization expire, USCIS Form I-9 must be updated and employers must keep the newest form on file. To update the Employment Eligibility Verification form, employees and employers can use section three of the form. It is important for employers to ensure that they have the most recent information for each employee on file. To do so, some employers hold periodic reviews of immigration and authorization forms. Others note expiration dates when first completing form I-9 and note expiration dates in software planner or calendar programs, ensuring that the company will be automatically reminded when I-9 forms must be updated.