The United States requires that all employees of a company, regardless of citizenship, fill out and complete an I-9 form. This form documents that each and every employee of a company is legally allowed to work within the country. This I-9 form stands as proof of employment eligibility and is legally binding to the employer and the employee that all statements in the document are true.
Employees, within three days of hire, will be required to complete this form and present the employer with valid proof of identity. This identity need to be original documents, not photocopies. This can include a passport, driver's license or social security card. The only exception that is made for photocopied material is a certified legal copy of an employee's birth certificate.
If you are an employee, or you are a company that is planning on hiring an employee from outside of the country, you still need to fill out the I-9 employment verification form. An employer cannot discriminate against a potential employee just because they carry a visa which may eventually expire. However, this does make it a bit complicated for individuals holding work visas. If a visa expires, United States law requires that the individual leave the country. If the person decides to renew their visa, all documentation that was based on the visa, must be renewed as well. This includes all I-9 forms.
As an employer, it is incredibly important that you abide by the rules and regulations regarding legal I-9 forms for your employees. Enforcement of the laws is strict and any business or individual found out of compliance with them can be charged with heavy fines and even a potential loss of business operator's license.
Immigration Attorneys at Pozo Goldstein, LLP
Are you a business owner or hiring manager who is looking to hire a potential candidate to fill a position? If the position is being filled by a non-citizen of the United States, it is important that you properly secure all documentation and visa information prior to hiring the employee. Once the employee is hired, I-9 forms are crucial. If you have questions regarding employment eligibility verifications for potential employees or questioning if you are in compliance with these laws, contact an immigration attorney at our offices today. We provide firm and professional legal assistance to employers and employees alike.