The Basics of Understanding Form I-9

July 30, 2018

Understanding Form I-9

Form I-9 is a government required form that complies with Congress’s Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) and government requirements regarding employment eligibility. It is a two-page form that helps the government and organizations identify U.S. citizens, U.S. residents, and people with work visas. All employees must fill out a I-9 before they can begin to work. The regulations around employment eligibility also require organizations to verify that all information on the I-9 is correct and that the candidate is legally able to work in the United States.


Most employees are required to complete Form I-9 before they can begin working. However, there are a select few who are not required to complete the form:

  • Casual domestic service employees working in a private household when work is sporadic, irregular or intermittent.
  • Independent contractors for whom you do not set work hours, or provide tools to do the job.
  • Employees working outside the United States.* * 50 States, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands


As an organization and employer, it is your job to make sure you are in compliance with government requirements. Organizations can easily verify all I-9 forms and information with E-Verify, an automated verification program that checks the information on a candidate’s I-9 with United States databases. To learn more about E-Verify, click here.