Do I Need to Use Form I-9?
All employers must complete and retain Forms I-9 for every person they hire for employment on or after Nov. 6, 1986, in the United States as long as the person works for pay or other type of compensation.
In the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), employers had to have completed Form I-9 CNMI for every employee hired for employment in the CNMI from Nov. 28, 2009 to Nov. 27, 2011. The standard Form I-9 must be used for those hired on or after Nov. 28, 2011.
Additional guidance for certain employees that fall into special categories is found below:
In some cases, employers do not need to fill out or keep a Form I-9.
Exceptions for Completing and Retaining Form I-9
You are required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for every employee you hire for employment in the United States, except for:
Federal law prohibits individuals or businesses from contracting with an independent contractor knowing that the independent contractor is not authorized to work in the United States.
Hired On or Before Nov. 6, 1986
If you hired your employee on or before Nov. 6, 1986, and still employ that person, you are generally not required to complete Form I-9 for that employee. For employers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Form I-9 is not required for employees hired for employment in the CNMI on or before Nov. 27, 2009 and continuing in their employment with the same employer after that date.
If your company merges with another company, you may need to complete Form I-9 for an employee of the newly acquired company who was originally hired on or before Nov. 6,1986. For more information about mergers and acquisition, please click here
Casual Domestic Services
“Casual domestic services” refers to individuals (such as a handyman, babysitter or cleaning person) paid by you to help in or around your private home, provided the services are:
Form I-9 is not required for casual domestic services.
An independent contractor is not considered an employee for Form I-9 purposes and does not need to complete Form I-9. An independent contractor includes individuals or entities who carry on independent business, contract to do a piece of work according to their own means and methods, and are subject to control only as to results.
Many factors are considered when determining whether or not an individual or entity is an independent contractor. Independent contractors are individuals or entities that may:
The individual or business contracting the independent contractor is not required to complete Form I-9 for the contractor. Remember, however, that federal law prohibits individuals or businesses from contracting with an independent contractor knowing that the independent contractor is not authorized to work in the United States.
Temporary or Staffing Agencies
In most cases, if your company uses a temporary or staffing agency to obtain workers, those workers are employees of that agency and provide service to your company as independent contractors. The agency completes a Form I-9 for each worker they provide to your company, because the workers are considered employees of the agency, not of your company. An agency may complete Form I-9 before one of its workers accepts a particular assignment, even if:
Not physically working in the United States
Employers are not required to complete Form I-9 for employees who do not work in the United States.
Last Reviewed/Updated: 03/08/2013