Immigration and Nationality Act, (INA)

The Immigration and Nationality Act, INA is administered by the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The INA includes provisions addressing employment eligibility, employment verification, and nondiscrimination. These provisions apply to all employers.

Under the INA, employers may hire only persons who may legally work in the United States (i.e., citizens and nationals of the U.S.) and aliens authorized to work in the U.S. The employer must verify the identity and employment eligibility of anyone to be hired, which includes completing the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9). Employers must keep each I-9 on file for at least three years, or one year after employment ends, whichever is longer. You must complete Form I-9 each time you hire any person to perform labor or services in the United States in return for wages or other remuneration. Remuneration is anything of value given in exchange for labor or services, including food and lodging.

You cannot contract for the labor of an individual if you know that he or she is not authorized to work in the United States.

Employers who fail to complete and/or retain the I-9 forms are subject to penalties. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS)enforces the INA requirements on verification of employment eligibility. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices enforces the anti-discrimination provisions.

Form I-9 is made up of three sections. Employers may be fined if the form is not complete. Employers are responsible for retaining completed forms. The following topics are included in the Form I-9;

  • E-Verify: The Web-based Verification Companion to Form I-9
  • Employee Information and Verification
  • Employer or Authorized Representative Review and Verification
  • Employment of Minors (Individuals under Age 18), With and Without Verification
  • Employees with Disabilities
  • Future Expiration Dates

    Reverifying Employment Authorization for Current Employees

  • Reverification and Evidence of Status for Certain Categories
  • Refugees and Asylees
  • Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • Exchange Visitors and Students
  • F-1 and M-1 Nonimmigrant Students
  • H-1B Specialty Occupations
  • H-1B employees changing employers
  • H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Program
  • Extensions of Stay for Other Nonimmigrant Categories

  • Changes of Name and Other Identity Information for Current Employees

  • Reverifying or Updating Employment Authorization for Rehired Employees
  • Leaves of Absence, Layoffs, Corporate Mergers and Other Interruptions of Employment
  • Rules for Members of Employer Associations

  • Retaining Form I-9
  • Unlawful Discrimination and Penalties for Prohibited Practices

  • Special Rules for Federal Contractors