Form I-9 – What Is It and How Do I Complete It?

Federal Law stipulates that employers only hire individuals who can legally work in the United States, either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the required authorization. To act in accordance with the law, all employers must complete and preserve Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) to document verification of the identity and employment authorization of all new employees, citizens and noncitizens, to work in the United States.

Employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) must complete the form. The employee must complete Section 1, which they must confirm to their employment authorization. The employee must also present their employer with suitable documents providing identity and employment authorization. The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) the employee presents to determine if the document(s) appear to be authentic and relate to the employee and record the document information in Section 2.

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Make Sure Employees Are Eligible to Work in the United States

Under the Immigration and Control Act, employers are required to examine certain documents, such as drivers’ licenses, when they hire new employees.  They must then record the information on I-9 forms and keep the documents for a specified period of time.

Employers are generally not required to verify independent contractors or their workers.  But there’s a catch: If companies knowingly use subcontractors who employ unauthorized alien workers, they can expose themselves to potential I-9 violations.

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