While the COVID-19 pandemic has kickstarted a surge in remote employment, it is still as important and vital as ever to have any person employed at a place of business complete an I-9 form. This is true whether they work onsite or 100 percent remotely.
What is an I-9 Form?
The Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9) verifies the identity of every employee and their eligibility to work in the United States. Both the employee and employer must sign the I-9 form. The employer’s signature verifies that a representative from the company has physically viewed acceptable identification that confirms identity and eligibility.
Does My Business Need I-9 forms, and Why Are I-9 Forms Important?
Any person hired by an organization as an employee must complete an I-9 form with their new employee paperwork during the onboarding process. Employers have three business days to have new employees complete the form and submit it to the federal government. The following classifications of workers do not need to complete an I-9 form:
- Employees not working within the physical boundaries of the US, such as those completing outsourced tasks on a virtual basis.
- Independent contractors
- Interns who receive any type of stipend
- Self-employed individuals
- Temporary workers employed through an agency
- People who work in the private home of their employer on a casual or sporadic basis.
The Payroll Company (TPC) provides clients with HR software that lists everything needed to complete the form correctly. HR department representatives can choose whether they prefer to print the form or have new employees complete it electronically.
The federal government issued the form on behalf of the United States Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Citizen and Immigration Services. These forms are important because they prevent non-US citizens from working in this country.
What Makes Up an I-9 Form?
An I-9 form consists of three sections, each of which we describe below.
Section 1: Employee Information and Attestation
A person who has accepted a company’s job offer can complete this section before they officially start work. Information requested in this section includes:
- Full legal name, including middle name, maiden name, and any other names used
- Date of birth
- Citizenship or immigration status
- Whether they are a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, an alien registered to work in the United States, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States
New hires who are not lawful citizens of the United States must present their immigration status. The following serve as valid proof of this requirement:
- Alien Registration Number or USCIS Number
- Foreign Passport Number that includes country of issuance
- Form I-94 Admission Number
All proof of immigration status documents must show a valid expiration date.
Section 2: Employer Review and Attestation
Employees must show employers at least one document from each of the lists below.
- List A: These documents prove both identity and authorization to work in the US. Employers can accept a United States passport or passport card, a foreign passport with Form I-94 attached, an Employment Authorization Document Card, or a Permanent Resident card.
- List B: These documents prove identity. Acceptable forms include a driver’s license, state or another type of identification card, or Native American tribal documents.
- List C: These documents prove authorization. Acceptable forms include a foreign birth certificate, US social security card, state birth certificate, or employment authorization documents from DHS.
Section 3: Reverification and Rehires
Employers must track expiration dates on documents presented by employees and complete this section when appropriate. They may also complete this section when rehiring an employee within three years.
The bottom line is that I-9 forms are essential, and so is quality payroll administration. Contact TPC today to learn more about our services or to request a demonstration.