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USCIS Explains If Unpaid Interns Need Form I-9

November 25, 2015

This week, Study in the States invites its U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) partner, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to the blog to explain Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. In this three part series, you will learn about Form I-9, how to properly complete it and we answer who needs to complete Form I-9 - one of USCIS’ most frequently asked questions.

In the first part of this series, we explained what Form I-9 is and in the second part we discussed how to properly complete it. To close out this three-part series, we will address a commonly asked question about who needs to fill out Form I-9.

By law, all U.S. employers are required to verify the identity and employment eligibility of each employee. After you are offered and have accepted a position, your employer should hand you a copy of Form I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification.”  You are responsible for completing and submitting Form I-9. The I-9 Central website has useful guidance on employment eligibility for foreign students. The Form I-9 Information sheet is available in English, as well as in 20 non-English language versions.

USCIS is frequently asked whether an unpaid intern needs to complete Form I-9. In general, an unpaid intern does not need to complete Form I-9 unless he or she will receive remuneration, which is something of value such as no-cost or reduced-cost meals, lodging or other benefits in exchange for his or her labor or services. For more information about remuneration, see the Form I-9 Central Questions and Answers.

Your DSO may be able to answer some of your questions about Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process. The Employee Rights Toolkit on USCIS’ website also has useful information.

Help us share this important information about employment eligibility verification with your network on social media using the hashtag #StudyintheStates!

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