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What is an I-9 form?

Asheville, NC |

I keep hearing about keeping up on I-9 forms to avoid an immigration audit, but I'm not entirely sure what they are.


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Attorney answers 3


The form every employer needs to fill out for every employee, citizen or not, to document the legal status of the employee.

Wolf W. Kaufmann
Southern California Immigration Attorney

No client-attorney relationship is being created by this posting. Please contact an attorney with questions about your case.



Thank you for posting your question.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, is a form that all employers are required to have their employees complete upon being hired. The forms purpose is to ensure that the individual being hired has legal authorization to be employed in the U.S.

The form is available here: Additionally, USCIS provides a Handbook for Employers, available here:

If you are an employer, you may want to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to understand what requirements you are subject to and avoid possible fines based on I-9 issues.

Good luck!

Thank you,
Nisha V. Fontaine, Esq.
Serotte Reich Wilson, LLP

Ph: 716-854-7525


The I-9 is a deceptively simple, one-page form that must be completed and signed by both the employer and the employee whenever an employee is hired.

The employee’s obligation

Section one of the I-9 must be completed and signed by every employee, irrespective of his immigration status. The employee must attest that he/she is a United States citizen, lawful permanent resident or is otherwise authorized to work for the employer.

The employer’s obligation

Section two of the I-9 must be completed and signed by every employer whether he employs thousands of employees or only one. The employer must ask each employee to document his identity and his eligibility to work. The back of the I-9 lists 12 documents that may be used to establish identity (List B), seven documents to establish employment eligibility (List C) and ten documents which establish both (List A).

Please see

(213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.