Non-Citizens Have Many Options for Verifying Employment Eligibility

December 14, 2022

All employers in the United States must verify the identity and employment eligibility (Form I-9) of every employee they hire. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides guidance on these requirements. The requirements apply to all hires after November 6, 1986.

The guidance states that Form I-9 is the document employers must complete for employment verification. Employers can look at page 3 of the form to discern acceptable records. For example, employees may present one document from List A to verify their identity and employment authorization. Otherwise, they may use a combination of Lists B and C documents instead. For example, an employee can use one document from List B to verify their identity and another from List C to verify their employment authorization.

Once presented with the authorized paperwork, employers must review them. This step ensures genuineness and that it represents the employee offering everything. The employer must also record the information on the employee’s Form I-9.

During the employment verification process, employers must remember that federal law requires them to allow employees to present legally valid documentation. Valid documents include the listed acceptable documents by the USCIS. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) specifies this in its anti-discrimination provision, and the Department of Justice’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section enforces it. The department does so by banning discrimination against workers due to their national origin, immigration status, or basis of citizenship.

Suppose an employer requests an employee to provide specific documents during the employment verification. In this case, they do so because of the employee’s national origin, immigration status, or basis of citizenship. This request counts as discriminating against the employee, violating the INA.

Some employers want non-US citizens to present a green card when completing Form I-9. This request makes it easy for employees to verify identity and employment authorization. However, employers cannot demand a green card. Such a demand could result in fines and other penalties.

Employers should ensure they properly train all personnel involved in the employment eligibility verification process. This precaution helps avoid potential discrimination. The easiest way to ensure compliance during the employment eligibility verification is to use an electronic I-9 management system. This system will guide hiring personnel through the entire process. Furthermore, it ensures your business remains in compliance with I-9 regulations. It will also safely and securely store the form for easy retrieval.

Automate your employment eligibility verification today with the ensured compliance of I-9 Compliance.