What is I-9 Form?
Form I-9 is the USCIS Employment Eligibility Verification form and this form must be used by the US employers to verify employment authorization and identity of the hired individuals. US employers must make sure that these forms are filled out completely for each individual they hire. The employer must attest his employment authorization on this form and the employee must provide the required documents to prove that he is eligible for employment in America. After verifying employment eligibility, the employer must retain this form for inspection. Similarly, the employer must also verify the identification documents that the employees submit and make sure that the documents are genuine. The employee can find the list of documents that he must submit, on the last page of Form I-9.
However, the employers may not be required to complete Form I-9 for volunteers and contractors. Form I-9 must be filed for employees hired after November 6, 1986 and this form must be completed at the time of hiring the employees. The first section of this form must be completed at the time of hiring and the second section must be completed after two or three days of joining. The employer must make sure that these forms are filled out completely and completed at the right time. This form may be filled by translators or someone else, if the employee does not know English and in this case, the preparer and the hired employee must both affix their signatures.
I-9 form will help the employers to make sure that the hired employees are not subject to criminal penalties that would make them unauthorized to work in America. People who fail to meet the I-9 requirements may not be permitted to work in the country and are likely to be fined or penalized. At the same time, the US employers must not discriminate any individual on the basis of his citizenship status and it is illegal to do so. Employers who fail to make I-9 forms available for inspection and employers who hire undocumented immigrants may be fined or penalized and the USCIS now allows the employers to complete this form online.
However, there are few exceptions to the I-9 requirements and the US employers need not file Form I-9 for the employees hired before 6th November, 1986. In this case, the hired employees must still be working for the same employers. These I-9 records must be retained by the US employers as long as the employees work for them. After termination, the employers must retain these I-9 forms for one year or three years, from the date of termination. Similarly, employers may keep these forms in a separate location as they must provide these forms as soon as the USCIS requires them to provide the forms.