Friday, November 4, 2011

USCIS Document Matrix Useful I-9 Reference for Employers

The Citizenship Status/Document Matrix is a useful USCIS reference for employers during the I-9 verification process.  The Matrix contains an outline of the List A, B and C documents that are listed and accompany Form I-9.   It also provides valuable information as to the appropriate citizenship or immigration status for each document.

U.S. employers or recruiters for a fee have the duty to ensure that every newly-hired employee completes and signs section 1 of the Form I-9 on the first day of hire. The employer’s verification responsibilities include an examination of the employee’s documentation of List A or B and C documents of identity and employment eligibility, and the necessary completion of the employer's certification portion of the Form I-9 form within three days of hire. The employee hired for a period of less than three days must present the required List A or B and C documents on the first day of employment. USCIS 2011 Handbook for Employers at 5.

The employee must check off one of the four employee status boxes in section 1.
·        Citizen
·        National
·        Permanent resident, or
·        Alien authorized to work until a specified date

Federal  antidiscrimination law prohibits employers from requesting specific identity or authorization documents from applicants during the I-9 verfication process.  Nevertheless, the employer cannot ignore the situation where the documentation produced from the employee is inconsistent with the marked status block.  If the employee is not able to produce a list A, or a list B and C document, within the three-day permitted period, the employee must be terminated.It should be noted that the employer’s failure to review and verify a proper list A document or a list B and a list C document is a substantive error under the Virtue Memorandum and the ICE 2008 Guide.