In addition to your basic personal information, when you fill out a Form I-9, you must provide at least one of the approved forms of documentation to prove your identity and eligibility to work in the US.
Employees must submit original documents, not photocopies.
Acceptable i-9 documents
There are three categories of documents that you are allowed to submit. Employees must present one of the following documents from List A, or one of the documents from List B plus one of the documents from List C. 3.
List A (documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility):
- United States passport or passport card
- Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (I-551)
- Foreign passport containing a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 print notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
- Employment Authorization Document containing a photograph (I-766)
- Foreign passport with an I-551 temporary stamp
For a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work only for a specific employer because of his or her status: a foreign passport and I-9 verification services or Form I-94A with arrival and departure records and job support
Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or I-94A
List B (documents that only establish identity):
- Driver’s license or identification card issued by a state or foreign possession of the United States
- Identification card issued by federal, state, or local government agencies or entities
- School Photo ID
- US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Document Card
- Native American Tribal Document
- Driver’s license issued by a Canadian government authority
- voter registration card
- US military card or draft record
- Military Dependent ID Card
For individuals under the age of 18 who cannot present a document listed above:
- School record (such as report card)
- Hospital or medical history
- nursery registration
- Nursery School Registration
List C (documents establishing employment eligibility only)
- Social Security account number card that has no restrictions
- Original birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or territory of the United States, with an official seal (certified copy accepted)
- Certification of the report of birth issued by the Department of State (Forms DS-1350, FS-545 and FS-240)
- United States Citizen Identification Card (Form I-197)
- Identification card for the use of a citizen residing in the US (Form I-179)
- Native American Tribal Document
- Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security
How to file an i-9 form
Employees can complete Form I-9 electronically. The employer keeps the form on file. They must keep a Form I-9 for each employee.
Employers can verify an employee’s I-9 information online to avoid fines or penalties by using the E-Verify system. This is an online service provided by the federal government that compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 with information from the US Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records. The employee’s Social Security number is required to use E-Verify.
I-9 forms are valid indefinitely unless there is a gap in employment of more than one year. Aliens with a work or student visa and exchange visitors must have their I-9 re-verified with each extension, or after their visa has expired, when a new employment authorization permit is issued Four.
I-9 forms must be retained by the employer for three years after an employee’s start date or one year after their employment ends, whichever is later.