How Does A US Business Properly Report Non-Citizen Workers?
Immigration law requires all employers to verify that all newly hired employees are authorized to work in the United States. This will require proof of employment authorization for any non-citizen workers. Usually, bearers of non-immigrant worker visas will be issued Social Security Numbers. Proof of identification, along with proof of employment and social security number will need to be documented on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
What Is The I-9 Form And E-Verify? How Do We Use It?
The I-9 form verifies the identity and employment authorization of a non-citizen candidate for employment. E-Verify is a mechanism through which employment eligibility conditions are checked and verified by immigration authorities. This is especially important for employers that hire a mix of foreign and US-based workers who each have unique credentials that qualify them for work on their I-9. It’s very important for an employer to have a streamlined I-9 process that uses E-Verify and is in compliance with immigration regulations as they pertain to foreign workers.
What Are The Rules For Compliance With Regard To Employers That Participate In E-Verify?
Employers must comply with I-9 procedures and US immigration laws. When an employer signs or electronically submits a form, they are verifying to immigration that they have indeed verified the credentials of the workers and that the workers are authorized to work in the United States.
What Should An Employer Participating In E-Verify Not Do?
An employer that is participating in E-Verify must not accept employees who don’t have the required documentation. The E-Verify process is very specific as to what documentation is required for proving lawful status and lawful work authorization. An employer should not accept documents that are not on the E-Verify list. If there is a cause for questioning the veracity of documents, then an employer should definitely not offer employment unless and until required documentation is verified and submitted through the E-Verify system.
Why Might A Prospective Employee Not Be Authorized To Work In The US?
An inadmissibility issue on a person’s record could preclude them from obtaining authorization to work in the US. Examples include prior criminal arrest, a misrepresentation, or an unlawful entry. If a foreign worker is fully qualified and credentialed to work in the US but is inadmissible for some other reason, that worker can seek a waiver.
What Can Be Done If A Prospective Employee Does Not Have Work Authorization?
There is a long list of civil penalties and warnings that can apply to an employer that is not in compliance. An employer can face serious legal problems if there is a pattern in practice of not being in compliance with I-9 or the practice of employing people who do not meet the requirements for E-Verify.
What Should Employers Do After They E-Verify A Tentative Non-Confirmation For An Employee?
Once an employer has E-Verified tentative non-confirmation for an employee, they should seek verification of documents. Usually, this will mean meeting with the employee and informing him/her of a deficiency in documents. If it’s not going to be possible for them to produce the documents, then it’s recommended that the employer have an internal policy or plan of action to identify deficiencies in the I-9 and E-Verify system. More importantly, the employer should have a prompt and effective course of action in the event that one of these issues arises.
If there is going to be a contested issue with regards to I-9s and E-Verify, it’s always a good idea to seek legal counsel and thereby create some space between the business and the immigration authorities. There is usually a civil process that’s involved where the employer is given the opportunity to show documents and re-verify information. The consequences of not being in compliance can be very devastating to a business and potentially even lead to business closure.
For more information on I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, a detailed case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (956) 766-4000 today.