Employers in the U.S. can only employ workers who are authorized to work in the U.S. To ensure organizations follow this mandate, the federal government requires all U.S.employers to complete and retain forms that verify the work authorization of any and all employees. The form involved in this verification is the I-9 and it must be completed for every single new hire, regardless of his or her citizenship/visa status. It is important to get guidance from an experienced St Louis green card lawyer to properly fill out the I-9 forms.
The Form I-9 requires that the new hire provide proof establishing his/her identity as well as the authorization to be employed in the U.S. A list of documents acceptable for establishing these factors is provided on the back of the form itself. Employers must complete the Form I-9 within three business days of the date employment begins. The employers must also retain the verification materials and, when necessary, revisit the authorization requirement on employees with non-permanent authorization.
The verification process, while seemingly straightforward, can be challenging and difficult to navigate for employers as they work to comply with this law. Even employers with sophisticated processes and personnel can face difficult questions on how to address initial and ongoing verification challenges. What to do with documents that appear fradulent? How to re-verify authorization? What questions can an employer ask its new hires? These are just some of the challenges that arise and employers, even well-intentioned organizations, that mishandle their obligations in this area can be subject to serious penalties.
We work with employers to understand the requirements of employment verification and develop practices and processes to ensure compliance with these federal laws. We also work with clients who have been contacted by the immigration service in connection with a purported violation of these laws to manage an effective response.