The US has a number of laws and regulations in place to ensure that workplaces are safe and that jobs go to those who are authorized to work in the US. One of these regulations requires all employers in the US to fill out and keep a separate Form I-9 (employment verification) for every person they hire to work for them in the US. Form I-9 (employment verification) must be filled out and kept for all workers, including US citizens and non-citizens.
Form I-9 (employment verification) requires that the employer check the employment eligibility of every person hired. That is because to fill out the form the employer must look at the identity document(s) and work authorization documents of each person hired. Information from these documents must be entered onto the form and a list of the documents employers need to look at is listed right on the form. Once Form I-9 is filled out, it does not have to be filed. Instead, the employer is required to keep the form on file. If immigration authorities or other authorities want to look at these forms or want to verify the employment authorization for everyone in a workplace, the employer must be able to produce a Form I-9 for every worker.
Form I-9 (employment verification) does several things. First, it ensures that employers look at and examine employment authorization and other important identity documents when hiring a new worker. Second, the form ensures that the employer is responsible for ensuring that all workers are authorized to work in the US. Since the form is required by law, employers cannot say that they simply did not know that a worker was not authorized to work in the US. Finally, the forms make it easier for immigration authorities to review the workers and the work authorizations of any workplace.
Form I-9 (employment verification) is five pages long and can be downloaded from the USCIS website. Once completed, the form has to be filed by the employer. The form for each worker must be kept for either one year after the worker leaves employment at that place of work or for three years after the worker is hired – whichever date is later. The form must be made available to any US government officials who are authorized to request the form. This includes authorities from Department of Labor, the USCIS, the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies.