Statutes and Regulations

Form I-9 Federal Statutes and Regulations

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, requirements come out of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA). IRCA prohibits employers from hiring and employing an individual for employment in the U.S. knowing that the individual is not authorized with respect to such employment. Employers also are prohibited from continuing to employ an individual knowing that he or she is unauthorized for employment. This law also prohibits employers from hiring any individual, including a U.S. citizen, for employment in the U.S. without verifying his or her identity and employment authorization on Form I-9.

The main statutes concerning Form I-9 process are:

Federal Statutes
Date Federal Statutes
Nov. 6, 1986

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA)

Pub. L. 99-603

Prohibits employers from knowingly hiring unauthorized aliens and hiring individuals without completing the employment eligibility verification process. This act led to creation of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. All employers must use Form I-9 for all employees hired on or after Nov. 6, 1986, who are working in the U.S. This act also established prohibitions against national origin and citizenship or immigration status discrimination with respect to hiring, firing and recruitment or referral for a fee.

Nov. 29, 1990

Immigration Act of 1990

Pub. L. 101-649, Sec. 535(a)

This act established the Immigration and Nationality Act’s document abuse prohibition, which prohibits discriminatory documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification process.

Sept. 30, 1996

Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA)

Pub. L. 104-208, Div C, 110 Stat. 3009

This act removes documents from the statutory list of documents acceptable for Form I-9 and requires that any additional documents added to List A documents must contain security features. This led to an interim rule published in the Federal Register in 1997 removing several documents from List A and expanding the receipt rule.

This act created a pilot program for employment eligibility confirmation. E-Verify is based on one of these pilot programs (the Basic Pilot).


Various federal government agencies that are part of the executive branch issue regulations that interpret and/or implement laws enacted by Congress. These regulations contain requirements and procedures that the public must follow and can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.

The following regulations govern Form I-9 requirements, employer sanctions, the employment authorization of aliens and unfair immigration-related employment practices:

Title 8: Aliens and Nationality

Section Content: Part 270 - Penalties for Document Fraud

Section Content: Part 274a – Control of Employment of Aliens

Subpart A - Employer Requirements:

Subpart B – Employment Authorization:

Title 28: Judicial Administration

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