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  • Writer's pictureTRS CPA


The U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement Department (ICE), in partnership with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department (USCIS) are more commonly enforcing the eligibility of individuals hired for employment in the U.S. Failure to comply with the USCIS’s policy on employee identification requirements could potentially result in fines and penalties. The Employers have certain responsibilities with regard to compliance.

Employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual hired for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens. The form can be found through the following link:

The form must be completed by the employee and verified by the employer. Acceptable documents supporting identity must be provided by the employee to the employer. Listed below are those documents which can also be found on the last page of the Form I-9.

Employees may present one selection from List A, or a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.

List A: Documents that establish both Identity and Employment Authorization:

  1. S Passport or U.S Passport Card

  2. Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)

  3. Foreign Passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa

  4. Employment authorization document that contains a photograph (Form I-766)

  5. For a nonimmigrant alien authorized to work for a specific employer because of his or her status:

    1. Foreign passport; and

    2. Form I-94 of Form I-94A that has the following:

      1. The same name as the passport; and

      2. An endorsement of the aliens nonimmigrant status as long as that period of endorsement has not yet expired and the proposed employment is not in conflict with any restrictions or limitations identified on the form.

  1. Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association between the United States and the FSM or RMI

List B: Documents that Establish Identity

  1. Driver’s License or ID card issued by a state or outlying possession of the United States provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address.

  2. ID card issued by federal, state or local government agencies or entities, provided it contains a photograph or information such as name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address.

  3. School ID card with a photograph

  4. Voter’s registration card

  5. S Military card or draft record

  6. Military dependents ID card

  7. S Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card

  8. Native American Tribal Document

  9. Driver’s License issued by a Canadian governmental authority

For persons under age 18 who are unable to present a document listed above:

  1. School record or report card

  2. Clinic, doctor, or hospital record

  3. Day-care or nursery record

List C: Documents that Establish Employment Authorization

  1. Social Security Account Number card, unless the card includes one of the following restrictions:

    1. Not valid of employment

    2. Valid for work only with INS authorization

    3. Valid for work only with DHS authorization

  1. Certification of report of birth issued by the department of the State (Forms DS-1350, FS-545, FS-240)

  2. Original or Certified copy of birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipal authority, or territory of the United States bearing an official seal

  3. Native American Tribal Document

  4. S Citizen Card (Form I-197)

  5. Identification Card for the use of Resident Citizen in the United States (Form I-179)

  6. Employment authorization document issued by the Department of Homeland Security

It is the employer’s responsibility to examine those documents for the following:

  1. The documents appear to be reasonably genuine

  2. The documents relate to the employee

The form I-9 must be filled out in its entirety and retained by the employer for three years after the date of hire, or one year after employment ends, whichever is longer. I-9 forms should be maintained separately from other personnel documents. These forms and supporting documentation can be stored electronically, given they are legible, and left unaltered.

Monetary penalties and fines for knowingly hiring and continuing to employ individuals without the proper documentation can range from $573-$20,130 per violation. In addition, penalties and fines for failing to produce a completed and documented Form I-9 can range from $230 to $2,292 per violation.

The recommended sources for verification are as follows:

  1. E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States by matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9 against records available to the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. Employers can enroll through the following link:

  2. Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) is an internet verification option that can be used to verify employee names and social security number. Employers can register using the following link:

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns.

This document is available as a pdf here: download

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