Federal law requires all U.S. employers to verify the identity and employment authorization of each employee hired to work in the United States by completing a Form I-9. An updated version of Form I-9 is now available, which employers should begin using immediately for all new hires.
Note: Employers should not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file.
When to Use Form I-9
All U.S. employers must fill out Form I-9 for every person they hire for employment in the United States (even employees who are U.S. citizens), as long as the person works for pay or other benefits. Employers may not begin the Form I-9 process until an individual accepts an offer of employment.
New employees need to complete Form I-9 no later than the first day of work for pay. The employer must examine original documents presented by the employee, which show his or her identity and employment authorization, to complete the Form I-9 within 3 business days of the date employment begins.
How Long to Keep Form I-9
Employers must keep an employee’s completed Form I-9 for as long as the individual works for the employer. Once the individual’s employment has terminated, the Form I-9 must be kept until 3 years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends, whichever is later.
Failure to ensure proper completion and retention of Forms I-9 may subject an employer to civil money penalties and, in some cases, criminal penalties.
I-9 Central is an online resource dedicated to Form I-9 which provides information about employer and employee rights and responsibilities, step-by-step instructions for completing the form, and information on acceptable documents for establishing identity and employment authorization. You can also visit our section on Form I-9 for more information and FAQs on how to comply with the Form I-9 requirements.