I-9 Employment Eligibility Requirements

Boston University must comply with federal regulations regarding employment in the U.S. For compliance purposes, new employees must complete a Form I-9 to document their identity & employment eligibility within their first three days of employment. Employees who do not complete a Form I-9 in that period should cease all activities, be terminated in SAP and may be eligible to be re-hired once employment eligibility has been verified.

New employees who are neither U.S. citizens, nor U.S. lawful permanent residents, (foreign nationals) complete the I-9 process by scheduling an in-person appointment with the ISSO.  We have new employee I-9 employment verification appointment options on both the Charles River and Medical Campus. In order to complete the process, please remind your new employees to be prepared to present original documents to verify their employment eligibility and identity as well as a copy of an appointment or offer letter confirming the terms of their BU employment.

I-9 Re-verification for continued employment

In addition to verifying eligibility to commence employment within the required 3-day period, foreign nationals must also present proof of continued employment eligibility for the duration of their employment at BU. This process is known as employment re-verification. Re-verification is required before the end of the employment period authorized in order to update the details in the Form I-9. More specific examples of when I-9 re-verification is required include:

It is not uncommon for a foreign national to present re-verification documentation several times throughout the course of their employment at BU. Because of stringent federal requirements, advance planning on the part of the department and employee is imperative to insure both institutional and personal compliance. The ISSO sends periodic e-mail reminders for employees with upcoming profile expiration dates to host departments and scholars. It is important to review and respond to this correspondence and follow up with the ISSO if you have any questions.

Gaps in continued employment eligibility

If an employee cannot present documentation confirming continued employment eligibility beyond their current I-9 expiration date, employment must end and the department must process a termination in SAP. This action must be taken in SAP effective on the day after the I-9 expires. The employee can resume employment and be re-hired only after they can document continued employment eligibility to complete a new I-9.

Federal regulations do not allow for an interim unpaid or ‘volunteer’ affiliation during this time; nor do they allow for employers to retroactively pay the employee for the period in question. In other words, the employee should cease all activity at BU. This action is required to insure that BU, as the employer, is complying with federal employment regulations as well as to prevent the employee from engaging in unlawful employment which can have serious repercussions on their immigration status in the U.S. Once the employee can document employment eligibility, the department can process a re-hire in SAP should they decide to do so. Host departments must contact their Human Resources Business Partner for further details should a termination and re-hire be required.

Due to slowdowns in processing at most government agencies, host departments should expect situations where there may be a gap in employment eligibility for an employee. Thus, it is important to make any requests for immigration sponsorship through the ISSO well in advance of the employment authorization expiration. Employees who are authorized for employment incident to their status (not requiring BU sponsorship) must take necessary steps to apply for any extensions of their employment eligibility so that they can present the required documentation to the ISSO in a timely manner.

Please contact the ISSO if you have any questions.