Important Documents You Need to Work in the US

The moniker “land of opportunities” is apt when describing the United States of America. Reports have it that 2022 alone has seen the creation of 528,000 new jobs. For this reason, the US remains a choice destination for job hunters at home and abroad.

Nevertheless, the USA is strict about employment policies and ensures only authenticated people get these jobs. The country achieves this by asking employers to submit documents that prove new workers are lawful residents of the country and cleared to work to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

So, if you are moving to the US for work, here are the essential documents you will need.

1. Proof of Identification

Whether you are a citizen of the US or an immigrant hoping to join the working population, you need legal documents to validate your status.

These documents are in three categories or Lists as portrayed by the USCIS. They include:

  • List A: These documents prove both identity and authorization to work. Examples include an unexpired US passport, a foreign passport with a stamp of permanent residency status (I-551 stamp), and an unexpired work authorization document from USCIS, among others.
  • List B: These documents only verify the holder’s identity and do not give the right to work. These include a valid US or Canadian license with the holder’s passport and info, voter’s registration card, US military or dependent card, and Native American tribal documents. Employees under 18 years can present a school ID card and hospital records.
  • List C: These documents confirm eligibility to work in the US. They are required alongside List B documents. Examples are social security cards, US citizen or resident ID cards, and unexpired employment authorization documents from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

An employer may ask for a copy of these documents for filing with the human resource department. Others may only ask that you present them for inspection. Whatever demand they make, it is perfectly legal.

2. Employment Eligibility Verification Form (I-9 form)

Employers must request that employees fill out this form from the USCIS office. After completion, employers can verify the information provided through E-verify, the US Federal database.

The web-based system matches the information provided by the employee on the I-9 form against data available with the Social Security Administration (SSA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mandates employers to use this platform for every new worker.

Except for occasions when a court rules for this, private organizations are not compelled to use this means of verification for new workers.

3. Internal Revenue Service Form (W-4)

The US loves to keep a tab on the tax of every employee. Employers use this form to calculate payroll taxes for each employee. Moreover, when employees fill out this form, they get to know the withholding tax that applies to them. Employees’ withholdings affect the annual income tax bills when filing their yearly tax returns.

Some data this document also captures include the employee’s name, age, residential address, and social security number.

Before filling out this document, workers should clarify any matter that seems vague in the contract. Be careful to fill this form accurately because mistakes could cause you to pay more than you should.

Most often, the company tasks a financial expert to put them through. Employers also require employees to update the information if changes in remuneration occur.

4. Bank Information

If you’re working an hourly job, you would likely get your pay in cash. Other than that, employers often pay their workforce through direct deposit. That means each employee must have a bank account and supply the information to the company’s account department.

5. Job Application Form

Although this comes last on the list, it is just as crucial as other documents because there is rarely any recruitment without an application. It is also essential because it precedes any plans of an immigrant desire to work in the US. That’s because before moving to the US for work, you must have employment before processing your work visa.

It may come as an online form or hardcopy, available in the organization’s branches or other stations. Many employers use this form to collect every detail about a prospective employee and decide who to shortlist for interview and eventual employment.

With this form, you may have to attach manuscripts to verify your claims. These include educational certifications, proof of professional affiliations, and any other relevant document.

We advise you to take the time to fill out these documents accurately and provide all materials required by the employer because there may be no way of correcting mistakes once submitted.

Final Notes

You should be aware that some of the documents above have expiry dates. We recommend you apply for renewal at least four months before they become invalid.

The US is a land of laws, and every immigrant would want to take them seriously. If you are moving to the US for work, know that the Home Office is thorough in verifying claims and documents even after employment.

Be as honest as you can when asked questions. The US is thorough, and a lie detected may cause retraction of your permits.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest Articles