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Understanding Employment Eligibility with Form I-9

Form I-9 is an essential document for all employers. Also known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, this document is used to verify the identity and employment authorization for all people hired to work in the United States. The form is required for both citizens and noncitizens, and both employers and employees must complete it.

From the employee’s side, Form I-9 is simple. They must verify their own employment authorization with the presentation of identification documents. By contrast, the employer’s role is a bit more complicated. They will need to examine the provided form and documents and determine whether they appear to be genuine. Then, employers will need to archive the form, keeping it available for inspection by government officers if necessary.

If you’re an employer in the United States, you’ve likely encountered this form. You’ve also likely struggled to figure out how to file and archive it. Software solutions from AMS can significantly improve your experience, either by providing a storage method or by freeing up additional time to spend verifying documents.


The Role of Employers in Form I-9 Filing

As an employer, it is your responsibility to verify a worker’s employment eligibility before the onboarding process. Employers must complete Section 2 of the form, where they must document the identification records provided by the employee. While it may take little time to fill out, you’ll need to put effort into reviewing the provided materials.

Your job as an employer also includes knowing the which documents bolster employment eligibility. The full list is included on the last page of Form I-9, but here are the most common:

  • S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card
  • A foreign passport that contains an I-551 stamp
  • An Employee Authorization Document that contains a photograph (I-766)

Employers do not need to file this form with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Instead, it should be retained by the employer. If a U.S. Government official asks to view the form, it should be made available.

Complete I-9 instructions are provided by the IRS. The process shouldn’t take much time, but you should expect to review employee records on a case-by-case basis.


AMS Can Support Your I-9 Processing

Form I-9 is supported by our Forms Filer Plus ($49) software, which includes a variety of federal forms. Users can enter data directly onto a facsimile of the form, then print or download for later reference. This provides an easy way to gather information provided by your new employee, add your own information, then easily store the document. While you won’t need to file this document, filling out and storing it digitally is easier than completing a physical copy.


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Additionally, if you’re hiring new employees, you might be in need of a payroll upgrade. AMS Payroll ($134) can fully integrated with our Forms Filer Plus to provide a complete tax and wage filing software. This tool will automatically calculate local, state, and federal taxes, record essential employee information, and allow you to file some federal forms directly from the software. If you’re dealing with Form I-9, a software tool from AMS can save you time – no matter your needs.

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