What documents does an employer need to obtain from a new employee to verify his or her eligibility for employment?

Author: Melanie Perez-Vellios, VP Group LLC

To properly verify a new employee's eligibility for employment, an employer must obtain documents that establish both the new employee's identity and eligibility to work in the US. A Social Security card and a birth certificate are sufficient to establish the new employee's authorization for employment. A driver's license or other state issued identification card is sufficient to establish the new employee's identity. There are several documents that will establish both the authorization for employment and identification categories, such as the following:

  • US passport;
  • Permanent resident card;
  • Employment Authorization Document that contains a photograph; or
  • Foreign passport that contains a temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa.

However, an employer cannot require a specific document from the new employee verifying his or her eligibility of employment.