In order to comply with federal law, GW must verify that employees are eligible to work in the United States prior starting work. Managers need to ensure that their new hires complete both sections of the Employment Eligibility (I-9) form by the deadlines described below.
Necessity of Employment Authorization Verification and Identity Verification of New Employees
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, as amended (IRCA), requires that employers must complete Form I-9 to document and verify the identity and employment eligibility of each new employee (both citizen and non-citizen) employed after November 6, 1986, to work in the United States. This requirement applies to all university employees, including faculty, non-student temporary, research, staff, and student employees.
It is illegal to discriminate against work-authorized individuals in the employment verification (Form I-9 and E-Verify) process based on that individual’s citizenship status, immigration status, or national origin.
Employers may not specify which document(s) the employee may present to establish employment authorization and identity. The employer must allow the employee to choose the documents to be presented from the Lists of Acceptable Documentation, found on the last page of Form I-9.
Both employees and employers (or authorized representatives of the employer) are responsible for completing their respective sections of Form I-9. For completing Form I-9, the term “employer” means all employers. An “employee” is a person who performs labor or services in the United States for an employer in return for wages, which does not include those who do not receive any form of remuneration (volunteers), independent contractors or those engaged in certain casual domestic employment.
Form I-9 has three sections:
- Section 1: employee information and attestation,
- Section 2: employer or authorized representative review and verification,
- Section 3: reverification and rehires.
University employees hired since the IRCA's passage must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 on their first day of employment, and Section 2 within three business days of the date of employment. Completion of Form I-9 is a condition of employment at GW and provides proof of eligibility to work in the United States and at the university.
Letters confirming employment are sent from Human Resources, the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), or the Office of Faculty Personnel, based upon the employee's status. These letters, which identify the first day of work, include a statement that Section 1 of Form I-9 is to be completed on the first day of work and Section 2 must be completed within three business days of the date of employment. This ensures that the new employee is aware of the I-9 requirement as a condition of employment.
Faxed, copied, or laminated documents are unacceptable as means of documentation for completing Section 2 of the I-9 form. For more information, please visit the Employment Eligibility Verification page.
Completing Section 1: Employee Information and Attestation
Employees must complete each field in Section 1 attesting to their employment authorization. Newly hired employees must complete and sign Section 1 no later than the first day of employment. Section 1 may be completed online on the New I-9 website using employer code 14290.
After completing Section 1, employees sign their name, attesting that all information provided, including citizenship or immigration status selected, and all information and documentation provided to the employee, is complete, true, and correct.
Completing Section 2: Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification
The employee must present his or her employer with the original, acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization within 3 business days of starting work. For example, if the employee begins employment on Monday, they must present documentation on or before Thursday of that week. The employee must choose which unexpired document(s) to present to the employer from the Lists of Acceptable Documentation. An employer cannot specify which document(s) the employee may present from the Lists of Acceptable Documents. The employee may present either one selection from List A or a combination of one selection from List B and one selection from List C.
The employer must examine the employment eligibility and identity document(s) an employee presents to determine whether the document(s) reasonably appear to be genuine and to relate to the employee and record the document information on the Form I-9. If the document(s) does not reasonable appear to be genuine, the employer must reject it and provide the employee with an opportunity to present other documents from the Lists of Acceptable Documentations.
Employees must present original documentation as described in the List of Acceptable Documents to an authorized university representative in one of the designated I-9 verification centers at the university. Upon the presentation of the appropriate documentation and completion of Section 2 of the I-9 form, the authorized university representative will issue a receipt verifying that the employee has completed the I-9 form. The employee should keep a copy of the receipt and provide the remaining copies to the department's hiring official.
Completing Section 3: Reverification and Rehires
For employees whose work authorization documentation expires, they must present an unexpired document(s) (or a receipt) from either List A or List C showing that they are still authorized to work. Form I-9 must be reverified by an authorized university representative in one of the designated I-9 verification centers at the university. The Bureau of US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recommends that employees apply, through the appropriate agency, for new work authorization at least 90 days before the expiration date.
It is the employee's responsibility to present updated work authorization documentation on or before the date the current authorization expires. Employers may not require the employee to present a particular document.
Expiration of Work Authorization or Change in Immigration Status
Employees whose work authorization expires on a particular date must re-verify their Form I-9 documentation by presenting evidence of updated, unexpired work authorization as identified in the List of Acceptable Documents before the expiration date on record. The Department of Homeland Security's United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), formerly INS, suggests that applications for work authorization be filed at least 90 days in advance of the expiration. This is because, in most cases, simply filing for an extension or change is not an acceptable means for re-verifying I-9 documentation.
Documentation of the approval of a change in an employee's immigration status (including but not limited to: adjustments to Permanent Resident, adjustments from Permanent Resident to U.S. Citizen, or work authorizations that change the number of hours employees may work or the type of jobs they may perform) must be presented with documentation of their changes as identified on the List of Acceptable Documents. It is the employee's responsibility to ensure that documentation of his or her employment eligibility is current and to provide this documentation to an authorized university representative in one of the designated I-9 verification centers at the university in a timely manner.
It is important to not allow employees to work beyond the expiration of their work authorization or prior to federal approval of a change in immigration status. Evidence of these actions may cause automatic and immediate loss of employment eligibility and may jeopardize the employee's immigration status.
A new Form I-9 must be updated or reverified for employees who are being rehired after a lapse of one year from the date of termination or within three years from the date that the Form I-9 was previously executed, whichever is greater. If an employee has been rehired, Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) may be contacted at 571-553-3679 or [email protected] to verify that a completed Form I-9 is still on file.
If an I-9 is not on file for an employee, an employee will need to complete a new I-9.
When hiring non-student temporary staff, hiring departments must ensure that Employee Hire forms are completed and delivered to the appropriate employment office (Human Resources, Office of the Vice President for Research, or the GW Career Center) on or before the first day of employment. Hiring departments and the appropriate manager must ensure that the employee’s Form I-9 is completed by the appropriate deadlines as.
Employees who do not complete Section 1 of the I-9 form on the first day of employment may be suspended. After three (3) days of noncompliance, Human Resources will instruct the hiring department and/or the appropriate manager regarding the termination process.
Employees terminated for not completing the I-9 form should not be allowed to continue working nor will they be eligible for rehire until they can present current documentation necessary for completing the I-9 form. Employees will be paid for periods during which they were working.
Retention of Form I-9
In accordance with federal recordkeeping requirements, the Department of Human Resources Services (DHR) retains all completed I-9 forms for either 3 years from the date of employment or 1 year following termination, whichever is greater.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q. I am a U.S. citizen. Do I need to complete an I-9 form?
A. If you were employed after November 6, 1986 you will need to complete a form. If were initially hired by the university prior to November 6, 1986, had a break in service and have now returned to work for the university, you will need to complete a form.
Q. Why can't I send you a fax with my I-9 and copies of my documents?
A. Because copies and faxes can be altered, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) has advised that they are unacceptable for purposes of I-9 verification. Only original documentation is accepted. In addition, some documents, such as the Social Security card, are unacceptable if laminated.
Q. Can you tell me what documents I need to submit for the I-9 form?
A. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly the INS) prohibits employers from specifying which documents must be presented for I-9 purposes. Please refer to the List of Acceptable Documents that accompanies the I-9 form and choose which document(s) you will provide for verification.
Q. I am the departmental hiring official, why can't I sign Section 2 of the I-9 form?
A. There are a select number of persons within the university who have been trained and designated to complete the I-9 form. If you would like to receive training, please contact Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) at 571-553-3679 or [email protected]
Q. I am employed through a Distance Education program and never come to D.C., how do I complete my I-9?
E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows employers to verify the employment eligibility of their employees, regardless of citizenship. Based on the information provided by the employee on his or her Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 form), E-Verify checks this information electronically against records contained in DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases.
The university must E-Verify our employees as soon as the job offer is made and accepted and within three days of the employee's start date. This impacts all university employees assigned to a federal contract that includes the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR).
New hires: Within three (3) business days after date of hire verification of newly hired employees must be initiated.
Existing employees newly assigned to a contract: Within 90 calendar days from the contract award date, each employee already on staff who is assigned to the contract or 30 days after assignment to the contract, whichever is later.
If you received a Further Action Notice from your employer is because E-Verify provided a result of DHS Tentative Non-confirmation (DHS TNC). A DHS TNC means that the information entered into E-Verify by your employer does not match records available to DHS. A DHS TNC does not necessarily mean that you gave incorrect information to your employer or that you are not authorized to work in the United States. Visit the For Employees pages at www.dhs.gov/E-Verify to learn the reasons you may have received a DHS TNC
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