Prince William County I-9 Compliance Lawyer

Each year, countless individuals from around the world travel to the United States to work and establish their careers. Fortunately, the federal government allows foreign nationals to seek employment, but if a company wants to hire a foreign national, they must adhere to a strict set of I-9 rules and regulations. All businesses, big and small, operating on American soil must follow I-9 rules.

Any company that does not follow I-9 rules will be subject to a variety of legal penalties. The federal government has the right to initiate investigations and audits to ensure companies follow their rules, and anyone caught not complying can face criminal and civil charges. For this reason, companies must be sure to only hire individuals authorized to work in the United States.

If you have questions about hiring foreign nationals, it may be wise to contact an experienced immigration attorney. A Prince William County I-9 compliance lawyer may be able to provide you with legal assistance regarding your situation.

What Are I-9 Forms?

As stated above, all employers are required to adhere to I-9 laws. These laws require employers across all industries to ensure any foreign national they hire fills out an I-9 form within three days of being hired. The form requires the employee to enter details such as their name, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number. Once the form is completed and submitted, the employer will find out if the employee is authorized to work in the United States.

Verifying Employment Eligibility

Many people assume that simply keeping a copy of an I-9 Form is enough to avoid penalties and criminal charges. This is untrue, and if a company wishes to avoid noncompliance penalties, they must also request certain forms from an employee to prove they are authorized to work.

If an employer is hiring a U.S. citizen, they may request a birth certificate or copy of their Social Security card, but they may also request other documents, such as a passport or state-issued driver’s license. If the employee is a foreign national, they can request a copy of their Green Card (lawful permanent resident card) or employment authorization document (EAD) to avoid criminal sanctions.

In the past, verifying the citizenship/immigration status of a potential hire was slightly more cumbersome. However, in modern times, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) now allows employers to check the citizenship status of employees via internet. The E-Verify website allows employers to enter personal information from I-9 Forms into a database to find out if an employee is eligible for hire.

Using the E-Verify system is not obligatory, and it can be difficult to use, especially for employers who have never used it. Questions about the E-Verify system can be answered by a Prince William County I-9 compliance lawyer.

Avoiding Audits and Investigations

Although it is illegal, many employers still attempt to hire foreign nationals who are not authorized to work in the United States. These employees often attempt to pay their foreign national workers lower wages and they often force them to work extra hours since they cannot report such acts to the company headquarters or the state.

Many are even forced to work in dangerous environments. To combat such issues, the USCIS now performs random audits and investigations to find noncompliant employers.

Learn More from a Prince William County Immigration Attorney Today

If you intend to hire an employee from another country, you must be sure to cover all your bases. Failing to comply with I-9 regulations can result in devastating penalties, fines, and even criminal charges. For this reason, you should never hesitate to check the eligibility status of potential employees.

It is better to be safe than sorry when dealing with I-9 laws, so do not be afraid to ask for assistance. Learn more from a Prince William County I-9 compliance lawyer today.