FORM 1-9 F.A.Q.’S
Services formerly provided by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) transitioned into the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Office of Business Liason (OBL). Official forms and documents issued by the former INS are still valid and will continue to be accepted by USCIS and other agencies as evidence of status in the United States.
Employers in the U.S. may not knowingly recruit, hire or continue to employ an alien not authorized to work in the U.S. The U.S. Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires all employers to verify the immigration status of employees hired after November 6, 1986, and ensure that each employee is a U.S. citizen or an alien legally authorized to work in the U.S.
To accomplish this, all employees must present documentation to their employer that establishes their identity and their authorization to work in the U.S.
EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY F.A.Q.’S
Q Do citizens and nationals of the United States need to prove to their employers that they are eligible to work?
A Yes. While citizens and nationals of the United States are automatically eligible for employment, they too must present proof of employment eligibility and identity and complete an Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). U.S. citizens include persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Island, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Nationals of the United States include persons born in American Samoa, including Swains Island.
Q Do employers need to complete Form I-9 for everyone who applies for a job with an organization?
A No. An employer needs to complete Form I-9 only for people who are actually hired. For purposes of the I-9 rules, a person is hired when the employer begins to work for wages or other compensation.
Q An employer must complete Form I-9 for anyone hired to perform labor or services in return for wages or other remuneration. What is remuneration?
A Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services rendered by an employee, including food and lodging.
Q Can an employer fire an employee who fails to produce the required document(s) within three (3) business days?
A Yes. An employer can terminate an employee who fails to produce the required document(s), or a receipt for a replacement document (in the case of lost, stolen, or destroyed documents), within three (3) business days of the date employment begins. However, the employer must apply these practices uniformly to all employees. If an employee has presented a receipt for a replacement document, the individual must produce the actual document within 90 days of the date employment begins.
Q What happens if an employer properly completes Form I-9 and the ICE discovers that an employee is not actually authorized to work?
A The employer cannot be charged with a verification violation; however, the employer cannot knowingly continue to employ this individual. The employer will have a good faith defense against the imposition of employers sanctions penalties for knowingly hiring an unauthorized alien unless the government can prove the employer had actual knowledge of the unauthorized status of the employee.
Q What is an employer’s responsibility concerning the authenticity of documents?
A The employer must examine the documents, and, if they reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them, must accept them. To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice. If a document does not reasonably appear on its face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting it, the employer must not accept it. An employer may contact a local USCIS office for assistance.
Q May an employer accept a photocopy of a document presented by an employee?
A No. Employees must present original documents. The only exception is an employee may present a certified copy of a birth certificate.