For more than 25 years, all U.S. employers have been required to complete USCIS Form I-9 to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires, in compliance with federal requirements. However, recently government agents have increased scrutiny of these documents. The I-9 process requires employers to review a new employee’s identity and employment documents within the first three days of employment, and to confirm their eligibility to work. This is required for all hires, including U.S. citizens, even family members of the employer. Failure to properly complete and retain I-9 forms can lead to fines, even in cases in which the individual is ultimately demonstrated to be authorized to work. At the same time, overzealous insistence on accepting only certain documents can constitute a civil rights violation, exposing a business to legal liability.
In addition, the government has now implemented an electronic employment verification program, voluntary in some circumstances and mandatory in others. E-Verify is mandatory for all federal contractors and subcontractors, and several states have also implemented legislation requiring employers to confirm a new hire’s employment eligibility through the electronic system.
The federal government’s focus on unauthorized immigration is increasingly focused on employers, increasing the possibility of an invasive and expensive audit. A consultation with an immigration attorney can help your business ensure you have a simple, effective process in place that complies with the law.
The content of this website is meant only to acquaint you with general information about immigration.This information is not legal advice and is not a substitute for having a consultation with an attorney. If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation, please contact us.