Employment eligibility verification is for the most part, somewhat simple in theory: someone wants to work and then they establish that they are authorized to work. However in the real world, providing legal documentation for someone’s eligibility can be difficult, and verification of these documents can be even harder. There are many mistakes that can be made, there are questionable legalities that come up and the right or proper thing to do can often be a gray area.
When seeking to verify the eligibility of an employee, all employers will be required to fill out a Form I-9, regardless of whether the employee is a citizen or not. This is not to promote discriminatory action, but rather to encourage honest hiring of lawful residents. An employer may not refuse to hire an employee simply because their documentation may eventually expire as that is deemed discriminatory. Upon hiring, the first section of the form will need to be completed by the employee, although the employer is ultimately responsible for making sure it is completed in a timely manner. If someone other than the employee fills out this section, the Preparer/Translator Certification must be completed.
After this section is completed, the employer will be required to fill out Section 2. They will be required to record things such as the document title, issuing authority, document number, expiration date and the date of beginning employment. Following the work authorization expiration date, employers will need to reverify and fill out Section 3. After completion of the document, it is not required for the employer to file it with the USCIS or any other government agency. Rather, they will be required to keep it on file so that should it be required by U.S. Government officials, it can be produced with ease. As such, there are no associated fees.
As of November 6, 1986 all employees, prior to or upon being hired, regardless of their citizenship status, are required to fill out an I-9 form which documents their authorization to work in the United States. In addition, every employer is required to fill out an I-9 form which is designed specifically to document that each new employee is authorized to work in the United States. Once documentation is provided, the employer generally does not have to deal with these forms for this employee again. In the case of being audited, these forms are necessary to prevent legal repercussions.
If an employee has an employment visa, this can make for a difficult situation. According to the law, when a visa expires, the visitor is required to leave the United States or have the visa renewed. When this visa is renewed, it requires all documentation based on that visa to be renewed as well. This includes the I-9 Form. The laws concerning employment visa and I-9 have not changed, however ICE has drastically increased enforcement of these laws. Anyone found not to be in compliance with these laws will be severely punished. The important thing to remember through any sort legal process, such as an audit, is that you have the right to an attorney and to a fair trial.
If you are facing legal penalties and repercussions due to an I-9 audit, then you will need the legal expertise of a New York immigration attorney from Pozo Goldstein, LLP. Our lawyers will be able to provide you with sound legal aid as well as represent you in court. We are committed to providing the best possible service to each of our clients. Our firm employs a former judge and immigration prosecuting attorneys, which gives us an advantage in court. We offer a free in-house case evaluation, and we are available to be contacted 24/7. We know that sometimes, legal documents can be forged, or something can be overlooked by no fault of the employer and/or employee.
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