The employee must present a document, or a combination of documents that establishes both his or her identity, and his or her legal authorization to work in the United States. For more details on the documents that can be presented, see the "Documentation" section below.
If an employee doesn't read and write English, a translator or preparer may complete the form and sign it, in addition to the employee's own signature.
In October 2004, new legislation made it possible to complete the I-9 electronically.
Documents that may be used under "List A" of the I-9 form to establish both identity and employment eligibility include:
Documents that may be used under "List B" of the I-9 to establish identity include:
For individuals under the age of 18 only, the following documents may be used to establish identity:
Employees who supply an item from List B must also supply an item from List C
Documents that may be used under "List C" of the I-9 to establish employment eligibility include:
U.S. citizens who have lost their social security card can apply for a duplicate at the Social Security Administration.
For example, an employer could not refuse to hire a candidate because his I-9 revealed that he was a non-citizen (such as a permanent resident or a refugee) rather than a U.S. citizen. For this reason some immigration lawyers advise companies to avoid requiring an I-9 until a candidate is hired rather than risk a lawsuit.. As another example, a company could not insist that an employee provide a passport rather than, say, a driver's license and social security card.
Another anti-discrmination provision requires that employers must enforce I-9 compliance in a uniform manner. For example, an employer must not require some employees to complete an I-9 before being hired, but allow others to complete the form after starting employment.
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices ("OSC") is a section within the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division that enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"). Individuals who believe they have suffered discrimination may call the OSC toll-free Worker Hotline at 1-800-255-7688 [Voice] or 1-800-237-2515 [TTY]. OSC staff members (who have access to language interpreters) can help workers by calling employers and explaining proper verification practices and, when necessary, by providing victims of discrimination with charge forms. Upon receipt of a charge of discrimination, OSC investigations typically take no longer than 7 months. Victims may obtain various types of relief, including job relief and back pay.
OSC also has an extensive outreach program. It provides staff to speak at outreach events throughout the country, and has free informational brochures, posters and tapes for distribution.
TYPES OF DISCRIMINATION
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices ("OSC") investigates the following types of discriminatory conduct under the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1324b:
Citizenship or immigration status discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee by employers with four or more employees. Employers may not treat individuals differently because they are, or are not, U.S. citizens or work authorized individuals. U.S. citizens, recent permanent residents, temporary residents, asylees and refugees are protected from citizenship status discrimination. Exceptions: permanent residents who do not apply for naturalization within six months of eligibility are not protected from citizenship status discrimination. Citizenship status discrimination which is otherwise required to comply with law, regulation, executive order, or government contract is permissible by law.
National origin discrimination with respect to hiring, firing, and recruitment or referral for a fee, by employers with more than three and fewer than 15 employees. Employers may not treat individuals differently because of their place of birth, country of origin, ancestry, native language, accent, or because they are perceived as looking or sounding "foreign." All U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and work authorized individuals are protected from national origin discrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has jurisdiction over employers with 15 or more employees.
Unfair documentary practices related to verifying the employment eligibility of employees. Employers may not request more or different documents than are required to verify employment eligibility, reject reasonably genuine-looking documents, or specify certain documents over others with the purpose or intent of discriminating on the basis of citizenship status or national origin. U.S. citizens and all work authorized individuals are protected from document abuse.
Retaliation. Individuals who file charges with OSC, who cooperate with an OSC investigation, who contest action that may constitute unfair documentary practices or discrimination based upon citizenship or immigration status, or national origin, or who assert their rights under the INA's anti-discrimination provision are protected from retaliation.
To contact OSC, please call or write:
Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices
Civil Rights Division
US Department of Justice (NYA 9000)
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530
Worker Hotline: 1-800-255-7688 [Voice] or 1-800-237-2515 [TTY]
Employer Hotline: 1-800-255-8155 [Voice] or 1-800-362-2735 [TTY]
Direct Office Line: 1-202-616-5594 [Voice] or 1-202-616-5525 [TTY]
An employer who fails to keep proper records that I-9s are properly filed can be fined $100 per missing item for each form, up to $1000 per form, even if the employee is legally authorized to work in the US.
Employers, translators or preparers who knowingly enter wrong information can be charged with perjury.
Recent Employee Bulletins by the USCIS explain many questions and concerns that employees have had over the years about the I-9 process, such as the limitation of an employer's ability to discern from the many old ID's, the many various forms of ID, discovery of possibly questionable ID, etc.: