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Acceptable Documents and Receipts for Form I-9

Acceptable Documents and Receipts for Form I-9

The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, regulated by the Department of Homeland Security, aims to control illegal immigration. The act makes it unlawful for an employer to hire, recruit, or refer for a fee any unauthorized alien or any person without verifying their work status. It also mandates the I-9 employment verification system. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the current penalty for unlawful employment of aliens is up to $3000 per unauthorized person and employers who demonstrate a pattern of violations can even be imprisoned for up to six months. 



What Is Form I-9

Form I-9 is an official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) document that helps a company verify that its employees are legally permitted to work in the United States. The form is also referred to as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form. 

Every American employer must complete Form I-9 for each worker they hire, including citizens and noncitizens. 

Likewise, people who are hired by American employers must fill out Form I-9 and present documents that verify their identity and authorization to work in the country. 

Employees will complete Section 1 of Form I-9:


section 1 of Form I-9


USCIS identifies three different categories of documents that newly hired employees must provide to verify their identity, split into Lists A, B, and C. 

Workers who present a document from List A shouldn’t be required to present any additional documents. However, workers who choose not to present a document from List A must provide examples from both List B and List C together to receive authorization. 


Commonly Accepted I-9 Documents

Commonly accepted documents in List A include: 

  • A U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Previous Permanent Resident Card with signature
  • Employment authorization document 

Commonly accepted documents in List B include:

  • Driver’s License
  • School ID card with a photograph
  • Voter registration card
  • U.S. military card or draft record

Commonly accepted documents in List C include: 

  • U.S. Social Security account number card
  • Native American tribal document
  • Certification of Report of Birth issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form DS-1350)

Employers will complete and sign Section 2 of Form I-9 within three business days after the employee’s first day of employment.


Section 2 of Form I-9


Acceptable I-9 Receipts

What happens if an employee does not have an acceptable document to present from Lists A, B, or C? Sometimes, employees can present a “receipt” in lieu of a document from List A, B, or C so the employer can complete section 2 of Form I-9. 

According to the USCIS, the following are considered acceptable I-9 receipts: 


1. A receipt showing the employee has applied to replace a List A, B, or C document that was lost, stolen, or damaged. 

This receipt would be valid for 90 days from the employee’s first day of work. The employer may accept other valid documentation if the original document is not presented within 90 days. The employer would complete a new Section 2 and attach it to Form I-9 with an explanation written in the “Additional Information” box. 


2. The arrival portion of Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record) containing a temporary Form I-551. 

Form I-551 is also known as the Alien Documentation form and it includes a stamp and photograph of the employee. The receipt is valid until the stamp expires. 


3. The departure portion of Form I-94 with a refugee admission stamp or computer-generated printout of Form I-94 with admission code “RE”.

This receipt is valid for 90 days from the date of hire. 


4. Unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record that contains a class of admission of UHP (Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees) or OAR (Operations Allies Refuge) on the document or unexpired Form I-94 containing a class of admission of PAR and indicates Afghanistan as country of citizenship on the document.

When this receipt expires, the employee must present to the employer either an unexpired Form I-766 (a document issued to aliens who are authorized to work in the U.S. temporarily), an Employment Authorization Document, or a combination of a List B document and a List C unrestricted Social Security card. 


5. Unexpired Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record that contains a class of admission of DT issued between Feb. 24, 2022, and Sept. 30, 2023, and indicates Ukraine as the country of citizenship.

Those who were admitted to the U.S. under a “deferred inspection” status, will have a Form I-94 that contains an admission class of DT. This receipt is valid for 90 days. 


What to Remember About I-9 Receipts

  • If an employee provides a receipt, the employer will enter the word “Receipt” followed by the document title in Section 2 of Form I-9. 
  • A receipt can only be used once. If a receipt becomes invalid, other valid documentation must be presented. 
  • Employers can only accept receipts if employment will last more than three days. 


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