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

Author: Melanie J. 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:

  • A US passport;
  • Certificate of US citizenship;
  • Certificate of naturalization;
  • Certain resident-alien cards;
  • An unexpired foreign passport with attached visa authorizing employment in the US; or
  • Alien registration card with photo.

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