Verifying Employment Eligibility (IRS Form I-9)

Employers are typically required to complete IRS Form I-9 to verify the identity and employment eligibility  of new employees. The I-9 form should never be used as part of the applicant screening process or a background check. It may be used only after a candidate has accepted your job offer. After a person is hired, follow this timeline for completion:

  • First workday:  Have the new hire complete Section 1 of the I-9 form by the end of the first day of paid work.
  • Third workday: Complete Section 2 of the I-9 by the end of the new employee’s third workday. (If a person will work for fewer than three days, you must verify an employee’s identification documents on the first day of work for pay.)

Encourage new hires to present their identification documents as soon after completing Section 1 of the form as possible. You must allow up to three days for new hires to provide proof of identity from the list of acceptable documents found in the Form I-9 instructions. If a new hire doesn’t present acceptable proof of identity by the end of the third business day, you may terminate the employee for failing to complete the I-9 form.

 If a new hire isn’t a permanent U.S. resident (such as a green card holder), employers may petition the U.S. Department of State for temporary visa on the person’s behalf. Nonimmigrant visas are usually granted on the basis of applicants’ employment prospects and the type of industry or field in which they would be employed. If a new hire would be coming to the U.S. temporarily for religious work, you may wish to review the qualifications for R-1 nonimmigrant religious workers.

These articles provide more information about hiring and onboarding new employees: