Verifying Your Nanny’s Work Eligibility Status

Form I-9

Click to open Form I-9

Learn how to make sure your nanny can legally work in the United States.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that it is unlawful to employ someone who cannot legally work in the United States. The law requires that you complete Form I-9 no later than the first day of work. The good news is this form is easy to fill out and you do not need to file it with anyone. You are required to keep a copy for your records for three years after the date of hire or one year after the date employment ends, whatever is later.

Documents your nanny will need to provide

Before your nanny can start work, he or she will need to provide you documents that establish both identity and employment authorization. The easiest way is for your nanny to bring a document that serves both purposes.
Documents that establish identity and work authorization:

  • U.S passport
  • Permanent Resident Alien Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport that contains a I-551 stamp
  • Employment Authorization Document with photograph (Form I-776)

If your nanny doesn’t have any of the credentials above, he or she will need to produce one document from each of the lists below. The most common sources are displayed here. The complete list can be found on page 5 of Form I-9.

To Establish Identity To Establish Employment Authorization
  • Driver’s license
  • Government ID card
  • School ID with photo
  • Voter’s registration card
  • Social Security Card
  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • U.S Citizen ID card (Form I-197)
  • ID Card for Use of Resident Citizen (Form I-179)

While not required, it is best to make copies of these documents to keep with your records. One tip for keeping track of these records is to scan or photograph them and email the digital file to yourself.

Filling out Form I-9

Completing Form I-9 is straightforward and will only take a few minutes. Your nanny will need to fill out Section 1. It asks for things such as address and date of birth. The Social Security field is not mandatory, however, you will need to collect your nanny’s Social Security number to fill out IRS paperwork. Your nanny must sign near the end of this section.

Look for a work expiration date here.

Look for a work expiration date here.

If your nanny is a legal alien, then pay special attention to whether you nanny entered a work authorization expiration date. As an employer, you are required to reverify work authorization prior to the expiration date.

When filling out section 2, be sure to fill out the required information. For each document, you must record the title, issuing authority, document number, expiration date, and date employment began (in the certification section). Be sure to sign it and keep a copy for your records. Section 3 is only needed if you need to reverify employment authorization.

Next step: Nanny’s Tax Withholdings