Frequently Asked Questions

Do American Citizens and nationals of the United States need to prove to their employers that they are eligible to work?

YES. American Citizens and Nationals of the U.S. are automatically eligible for employment; however, they too must present proof of employment eligibility and identity. Every person seeking employment inside the United States must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). Citizens of the U.S. include persons born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Nationals of the U.S. include persons born in American Samoa, including Swains Island.

Is it necessary to complete a Form I-9 for everyone who APPLIES for a job with the University?

NO. The Form I-9 should only be completed for people who are actually hired by the University. As a “rule of thumb”, consider that a person is “hired” when she/he begins to work for you for wages or other compensation.

What is “remuneration”? Why must I complete a Form I-9 for anyone I hire to perform labor or services in return for wages and or other remuneration?

Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services rendered by an employee, including food and lodging. You must complete a Form I-9 for anyone hired because of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) which sought to control illegal migration by eliminating employment opportunities as a key incentive for unauthorized persons to come to the U.S. “IRCA” core prohibition is against the hire and continued employment in the U.S. of an alien who the employer knows is unauthorized for the employment.

Can I fire an employee who fails to produce the required document(s) within three (3) business days?

YES. You can terminate an employee who fails to produce the required document(s), or a receipt for a replacement document. In the case of lost, stolen, or destroyed documents, you must require that an original replacement receipt or an official notice of action be presented within three (3) business days of the date employment begins. However, you must apply these practices uniformly to all employees. If the employee has presented a receipt for a replacement document(s), she/he must produce the actual document(s) within 90 days of the date employment begins.

What happens if I properly complete a Form I-9 and the USCIS discovers that my employee is not actually authorized to work?

You cannot be charged with a verification violation; however, you cannot knowingly continue to employ this individual. You will have a good faith defense against the imposition of employer sanctions penalties for knowingly hiring an unauthorized alien unless the government can prove you had actual knowledge of the unauthorized status of the employee.

What is my responsibility concerning the authenticity of document(s) presented to me?

You must examine the document(s) and, if they reasonably appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them, you must accept them. To do otherwise could be an unfair immigration-related employment practice. If a document does not reasonably appear on its face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting it, you must not accept it. You may contact your local USCIS office for assistance. To get the address and telephone number of the USCIS office nearest you, please visit See List of Acceptable Documents which are acceptable in the employment process:

Can I accept a photocopy of a document presented by the employee?

NO. Employees must present original documents. The only exception is that an employment may present a certified copy of a birth certificate.