Published Date: 03/03/2014
By John Gupton
Employers must require all newly-hired employees to confirm their identity and eligibility to work in the United States. This verification must occur within a specified time frame from the hire date. Employers must further record their verification effort on a designated Form I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification. These compliance requirements apply to every new employee regardless of citizenship, even if there is no doubt as to the individual’s identity and employment authorization.
To confirm identity and employment eligibility, every new hire must produce an original document or a combination of documents that are designated by the federal government to satisfy that requirement. A list of the acceptable documents is found on the back of the Form I-9. The employer must accept whatever document or combination of documents from the List that the employee offers, so long as the document is original, unexpired, relates to the employee and shows no signs of tampering or counterfeiting.
The employee, not the employer, chooses the document(s) to be presented. The verification requirement may be met by producing one document from List A (documents that establish both identity and employment eligibility), or by producing one document from List B (identity only) plus one from List C (employment eligibility only).
Sometimes, your employee will present a “receipt” in lieu of a List A, List B or List C document. An acceptable receipt is valid for a short period of time for completion of Section 2 or Section 3 (reverification) of Form I-9. If your employee does present such a receipt, below is the process to follow, according to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website:
There are only three types of acceptable receipts:
(1) A receipt showing that your employee has applied to replace a document that was lost, stolen or damaged
Your employee may present a receipt for the application for the replacement of any List A, List B, or List C document. This receipt is valid for 90 days. When it expires, the employee must show you the replacement document for which the receipt was given.
(2) The arrival portion of Form I-94/I-94A with a temporary I-551 stamp and a photograph of the individual
A lawful permanent resident may present this List A receipt instead of showing their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) to show evidence of both identity and employment authorization. This receipt is valid until the expiration date on the stamp, or one year after the issuance date if the stamp does not contain an expiration date. When it expires, your employee must show you their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551).
(3) Departure portion of Form I-94/I-94A with a refugee admission stamp
A refugee may present this List A receipt to show evidence of both identity and employment authorization. This receipt is valid for 90 days. When the receipt expires, your employee must show the employer either an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) or a combination of a List B document and an unrestricted Social Security card.
When your employee provides an acceptable receipt, you should:
- Record the document title in Section 2 under List A, List B or List C, as applicable.
- Write the word “receipt,” the document title and number, and the last day that the receipt is valid.
After the receipt expires, you should:
- Cross out the word “receipt” and any accompanying document number.
- Record the number and other required document information from the actual document presented.
- Initial and date the change.
You cannot accept a receipt for the application for an initial or renewal employment authorization but can accept a receipt for the application for replacement of a lost, stolen or damaged employment authorization document. You cannot accept receipts if employment will last less than three days.