Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9): Acceptable Documents
In order for the government to legally verify the identity of all the employees working for a business or company in the United States of America and have the permit to work, a process known as Employment Eligibility Verification is undertaken.
These documents for identity verification are presented by the employees to the company for work eligibility. The subsequent sections cover the different documents that can be used to verify I9.
What Is Form I-9?
The Form I-9 is a document required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for employment eligibility and identity verification of individuals hired for work within the United States. This form must be filled out by the employer and kept on file for each employee they hire. The Form I-9 plays an important role in ensuring that all individuals hired for work in the U.S. are authorized to do so.
Required documents for I-9 verification
An employee must present a document from List A (to verify identity and determine employment eligibility) or List B (to verify identity) and List C (which establishes whether the person is eligible to be employed) to complete the I-9 form.
Here are the documents for I-9 verification:
List A: Documents that can verify both the identity and eligibility for legal work
1. Passport of the United States
A passport issued by the U.S. government certifies the identity and nationality of the bearer for international travel. A U.S. Passport Card is a smaller, wallet-sized version of a passport that can only be used for travel to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Both documents serve as proof of citizenship and identity.
2. Alien Registration Receipt Card or Permanent Resident Card with photograph, also known as a Green Card (Form I-551)
The Alien Registration Receipt Card, which is Form I-551, also known as a Green Card, is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)-issued document for foreign nationals who have been granted permanent resident status in the United States. The Green Card serves as evidence of an individual’s permanent resident status and as proof of identity and authorization to work in the U.S. The card is also sometimes referred to as a Permanent Resident Card.
3. A foreign passport with an interim I-551 stamp or printed notation
A foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp or notation is a foreign passport that has been stamped or annotated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as evidence of an individual’s temporary lawful status in the United States. The stamp or notation serves as proof of identity and authorization to work in the U.S. for a limited period of time.
4. Employment Authorization Document (EAD) containing a photograph (Form I-766)
The Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as Form I-766, is a document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that serves as proof of an individual’s eligibility to work in the United States. It is typically issued to individuals authorized to work in the U.S. but not U.S. citizens, such as individuals in specific nonimmigrant visa categories, asylees, and refugees. The EAD contains a photograph of the individual and is typically valid for a limited period of time.
5. Federated States of Micronesia Passport (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands Passport (RMI) with Form I-94 or I-94A
A passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with a Form I-94 or I-94A is a combination of documents used to establish an individual’s identity and authorization to be in the U.S. The passport serves as proof of the individual’s identity and nationality, while Form I-94 or I-94A serves as evidence of the individual’s lawful admission into the United States.
List B: Documents that only verify the identity for legal work
• Driver’s license – A state-issued driver’s license from the U.S. or its outlying territories, as long as it has a photograph or personal details like name, gender, date of birth, address, eye color, height, can be used for identity verification.
• Voter’s registration card – It is an ID card from a state, federal, or local government entity or agency with personal information like name, gender, DoB, height, color of the eye, and address or with a photograph to be used for the purpose of verifying identity.
• ID card issued by the school with a photograph – An identity card issued by the school attended by the individual, which essentially has their photograph on it.
• U.S. military draft record ot card – A U.S. military card or draft record is a document issued by the United States military to its active duty service members or veterans. The military card serves as proof of military service and can be used as a form of identification.
A draft record is a record of an individual’s registration for military conscription, also known as the draft, and can also serve as proof of identity. Both the military card and draft record can be used for identity verification for the purposes of completing the I-9 form.
• Native American tribal document – A Native American tribal document is a document issued by a Native American tribe or community recognizing an individual’s membership in that tribe. The document must contain the individual’s name and photograph or other identifying information such as date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address.
Document list for minors
1. A report card or school record with the name of the individual, along with other identification information.
2. A hospital, clinic, or doctor record can also be used to establish the identity of a minor.
3. Nursery school or daycare record with the child’s name and other details pertaining to the identification.
The Employment Eligibility Verification (I-9) form is a requirement for all U.S. employers to verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Therefore, as an employer, you must be completely familiar with the various lists of documents that are accepted by the government and are deemed valid.