Verifying Employee Eligibility to Work
Who needs to file a form I-9?

Question:
Do United States citizens need to prove they are eligible to work by submitting a Form I-9? Do I need to receive this form from everyone who applies for a job?

Answer:
Yes, while United States citizens are automatically eligible for employment, they too must provide the required documents and complete the Form I-9. The Form I-9 is only required when a person is hired and begins to work for you. If someone accepts a job with your church but will not start work right away, he or she may still submit their Form I-9 after they've accepted a position. If an employee is unable to provide the required documents within three days of being on the job, he or she must at least produce a receipt showing that he or she has applied for the documents. The employee must then produce the documents within 21 days.

Church Law & Tax Report Editorial Advisor Ann Buwalda is considered a leading authority on immigration law. You can learn more on this topic by purchasing the Feature Report "Immigration Law and the Church." This also includes a primer on visas, work permits, and other requirements for hiring international workers at your church. Also, ChurchSafety.com features a downloadable training resource titled "Immigration and the Church," which is available under the "Ministries, Congregation" categories.

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Posted: November 9, 2010
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