Confirming that an individual is authorized to work in the United States is mandatory for employers across the nation. Form I-9 form is the required document for doing so, though some employers may also be required to complete the E-Verify process.
To verify someone’s authorization to work in the United States, you must confirm their identity and eligibility using Form I-9. Doing so requires examining vital personal documents provided by applicants. The government defines lists of acceptable documents for this process, called List A and Lists B and C. Let’s unravel what you need to understand about these documents and what types of documents you can accept.
No. Employers must accept any appropriate documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them. Therefore, you cannot refuse to accept otherwise acceptable documents for evaluation from a given list You also cannot request an employee provide a specific document or request that they provide more or different documents than are required by Form I-9.
List A contains official documents that verify both an individual’s identity and employment authorization. If a candidate supplies an acceptable document from List A, they should not be asked to produce any additional documents. For a complete list of acceptable List A documents, please refer to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) website or the current version of Form I-9. Be sure to check the USCIS site regularly for updates on valid documents and to learn more about special cases such as combination documents.
List A documents mostly comprise paperwork issued to US citizens but also include some options for foreign nationals. List A may also allow document combinations, but for these purposes, they count as a single unit.
List A includes:
Individuals who do not choose to present a document from List A will instead need to provide a combination of one document from List B and one document from List C. List B contains documents that establish an individual’s identity. List C contains documents to establish an individual’s employment authorization. For a complete list of acceptable List B and C documents, please refer to the USCIS website or the current version of Form I-9.
What Are the List B and List C Documents?
List B documents that can verify a candidate’s identity include:
Minors under the age of 18 seeking to work may provide report cards, medical records, or daycare records to verify identity.
List C documents to verify a candidate’s eligibility to work in the United States include:
The government doesn’t expect employers to become experts at reviewing documents. Instead, there is the expectation that you accept documents that reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the individual who presented them. This requires examining the documents and information presented on them, such as the name that is listed. You must complete an in-person examination, or a live video conference if your organization meet the federal requirements to do so. The USCIS provides helpful tips for examining documents and guidance on what to do in certain scenarios.
Knowing what types of documents you can accept during the US employment eligibility verification process is key to helping protect your business from penalties during a later inspection. You should make an effort to familiarize yourself with all the document types on the Form I-9 Acceptable Documents Lists. Similarly, stay up to date on changes in documents to avoid accepting outdated versions.