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Authorization to work (I-9 Form)

All employers are required to verify that everyone they hire is eligible to work in the U.S. Employers must view documentation provided by the employee to establish the employee’s identity and work authorization. These documents must reasonably appear authentic and must pertain to the employee.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the first place to go for information, find their I-9 page at: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.

The actual I-9 form can found here in PDF format. The form has changed frequently in recent years, it’s a good practice to download a fresh, updated form from the website each time you hire a new employee. Instructions for form I-9 must be given to employees. You can also download I-9 instructions in Spanish.

It’s important to have a standard operating procedure (SOP) in place for verifying and documenting work authorization. An SOP will help make sure the job is done right, every time, so that your business has less legal risk in this area. Here is a an example I-9 SOP developed for typical farm businesses: I-9 SOP.

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