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Q&A: Verifying Employee Eligibility to Work

Who needs to file a form I-9?

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?

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 in "Immigration Law and the Church." This also includes a primer on visas, work permits, and other requirements for hiring international workers at your church.

Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations." Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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Posted:
  • November 9, 2010

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