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I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification Form

The Immigration Reform and Control Act made all U.S. employers responsible to verify the employment eligibility and identity of all employees hired to work in the United States after November 6, 1986.

To implement the law, employers are required to complete Employment Eligibility Verification forms (Form I-9) for all employees, including U.S. citizens. All U.S. employers are responsible for completion and retention of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and noncitizens.

On the form, the employer must verify the employment eligibility and identity documents presented by the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9.

University Procedures

Form I-9 is kept on file at the University of Richmond. An unexpired foreign passport with an attached Form I-94 must be presented to verify employment eligibility. Original documents must be presented (photocopies are not allowed). However, a photocopy of all documents presented will be made.

If a person has applied for replacements of missing documents, and has receipts for those applications, the 90-day receipt rule for lost, destroyed, or stolen documents may be used.

Exceptions to the I-9 Requirement

J-1 visa students:

Original Form I-20 or DS-2019 are acceptable employment authorization documents. (Identity documents in column B and C required.)

F-1 visa students:

Permitted to work for no more than 20 hours per week during school year and 40 hours per week during summer and vacations. (Identity documents are a foreign passport and the I-94 card.)

J-visa professors:

Those who are lecturing at non-sponsoring institutions with the permission of their program sponsor and are treated as independent contractors for payment purposes.

B-1 or B-2 non-immigrants: Those who are paid honoraria for academic activities are treated as independent contractors for payment purposes.

Specifics of the I-9 Form

Alien authorized to work from _____ (use the date obtained from the I-20 or the DS-2019)

List A documents:

  • Unexpired foreign passport
  • I-94 card
  • I-20, DS-2019, H-1B documentation
  • I-551 ADIT stamp in an unexpired passport is equivalent to green card.
    • Valid until date relates to travel and not to employment authorization.
    • It may be expired.
    • Pending issuance of the new green card, the sticker clarifies that the alien cardholder remains authorized to work.
    • The holder is a permanent resident.
    • A temporary I-551 stamp (which is placed on the I-94 card) needs to be re-verified.

Expired foreign passport List A not possible:

  • List B documents: J-1 visa
  • List C documents: I-94 card and DS-2019 (#7 other)

List A - Numbers 2, 3, 8, and 9

Numbers 2, 3, 8, and 9, are no longer acceptable (since September 30, 1997). The I-9 form has not been updated, so they technically remain on the list. However, ICE may penalize for used of these items when completing an I-9. The items may be accepted under List C #7, if the individual has a List C document. Furthermore, any alien who has one of these documents will also have some other acceptable List A or List C document. Therefore, an employer may refuse to accept List A #2, 3, 8, and 9.

Permanent Residents

A permanent resident is a permanent resident, even in conditional status. A conditional (two-year) permanent resident card is not treated differently form a 10-year card. It does not required re-verification. Permanent residents are treated the same as U.S. citizens.


A new I-9 is not required when an employee changes or adjusts status. However, when the I-9 re-verification date approaches, or at any time earlier that the employer is presented with proof of status that does not require further re-verification (such as an I-551 stamp on an unexpired passport form which you can identify the employee) re-verification /updating can be done on Section 3. No further re-verification is needed since an I-551 stamp on a passport that appears genuine is a List A document that does not require re-verification.

SSN Card and I-9 Form

An SSN card with the notations "Not valid for employment" or "Valid for work only with DHS (or INS) authorization" is not a valid I-9 document. It does not mean the individual is not allowed to work.

"Not valid for employment": generally means the card was issued to someone who was not work-authorized or even potentially eligible to work when the card was issued. The card would have been issued for some purpose such as to be able to draw federal benefits (welfare, etc.) for which the person was eligible even if he couldn't be employed.

"Valid for work only with DHS/INS authorization": generally means the card was issued to someone who was potentially work-eligible but has restrictions inherent in their eligibility--F-1, J-1, H-1, etc.

The SSN is not invalid and can be entered into the SSN box on the I-9 form (and used for W-2/1042-S reporting).

The individual needs to show other proof of employment eligibility for Section 2 of the I-9 that does not included the SSN card itself.

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