Form I-9

Employment Eligibility Verification

The I-9 form, formally known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is a mandatory document for employers in the United States. It serves as proof that an employee is legally permitted to work in the U.S. Understanding and correctly filling out this form is crucial for both employers and employees to comply with federal laws and avoid potential penalties. This comprehensive guide will provide you with everything you need to know about the I-9 form.

What is an I-9 Form?

An I-9 form is a document required by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that verifies an employee's identity and eligibility to work in the United States. It is an integral part of the hiring process for all U.S. employers.

  • Purpose and significance: The primary purpose of the I-9 form is to deter illegal employment. It ensures that all employees, regardless of nationality, are eligible to work in the U.S.
  • Components of the form: The I-9 form comprises three sections: Section 1, filled out by the employee, Section 2, completed by the employer, and Section 3, for re-verifications and rehires if applicable.

Who Needs an I-9 Form?

Every employer in the United States is required to complete an I-9 form for each individual they hire, including citizens and noncitizens.

  • Criteria: All employees hired after November 6, 1986, must have a completed I-9 form.
  • Obligations: Employers must ensure the forms are completed correctly and retained according to the USCIS requirements.
  • Deadlines: The I-9 form must be completed within three business days of the employee’s first day of employment.

How to Read and Understand the I-9 Form

Understanding the I-9 form is essential for proper compliance.

  • A detailed breakdown of the I-9 form: Section 1 asks for personal information from the employee, Section 2 requires the employer to verify the employee's documents, and Section 3 is for employment authorization updates.
  • Explanation of common terms and figures: Terms like "employment authorization documents," "lawful permanent resident," and "alien authorized to work" are clarified in the form's instructions.

How to Get Your I-9 Form

  • Procedures: Employers can obtain I-9 forms in several ways, including downloading them directly from the USCIS website.
  • Direct link: Download the latest I-9 form directly here.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Several common errors can occur when completing the I-9 form.

  • Common errors: These can include not completing the form within the required time frame, forgetting to sign or date the form, and not using the most current version of the form.
  • Tips: Regularly review the USCIS website for updates, conduct internal audits, and ensure that the form is completed in its entirety.

I-9 Form and Tax Filing

The I-9 form indirectly impacts tax filing by ensuring that employees are eligible to work and thus legally able to pay taxes in the U.S.

  • Role in tax returns and possible refunds: Though the I-9 form is not submitted with tax returns, compliance affects an employee's tax status and eligibility for employment, which influences income reporting.

FAQ Section

1. Can I complete the I-9 form electronically? Yes, electronic completion and storage of I-9 forms are permitted as long as the system used complies with USCIS regulations.

2. What documents are acceptable for I-9 verification? Refer to the List of Acceptable Documents provided by USCIS, which includes U.S. passports, Permanent Resident Cards, and driver's licenses combined with Social Security cards, among others.

3. How long must I keep an I-9 form? Employers should retain an I-9 form for three years after the date of hire or one year after employment is terminated, whichever is later.

4. What happens if I don’t complete the I-9 form? Failure to comply with I-9 requirements can result in legal consequences, including fines and penalties.

5. Can I ask for specific documents when verifying eligibility? No, employers cannot specify which documents they will accept from the list of acceptable documents. Employees have the right to choose which documents they present.


The I-9 form is a fundamental element of the employment process in the United States. Compliance ensures legal employment and contributes to the integrity of the U.S. labor market. Understanding how to accurately complete and retain the I-9 form is essential for all employers. For complex situations, consulting with a tax professional or legal advisor is recommended.

For additional information and access to the I-9 form and instructions, visit the USCIS Official Website. Here, you can find the latest version of the form and detailed guidelines for completing it correctly.

Downloadable I-9 Form from the IRS

Understanding taxes and employment verification can be complex, but resources are available to help employers comply with these requirements. For further reading and tax filing tips, consider exploring content related to employer's guide on and other related forms at Forms.Tax.

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.