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Immigration and Hiring for Businesses

Immigration and Hiring for Businesses

If you’re the owner of a small business, it’s highly likely that hiring employees will be part of your many job duties. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just posting an ad for a job and immediately finding the perfect person to fill an open position. It can often be difficult to find a good employee, and sometimes you may need to look at hiring immigrant workers. In any case, the employment eligibility (i.e. immigration status) of all prospective employees must be checked prior to finalizing the hire.

This article offers answers to some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to immigration and employment eligibility.

Q: Does everyone you hire need to prove that they are legally eligible to work in the U.S.?

A: Yes. Employers are required to verify that every employee they hire is legally eligible to work in the United States. This is done by completing an Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) for each employee at the start of employment.

Q: Is an I-9 form required for all job applicants?

A: No. An employer is only required to complete an I-9 form for people that he or she actually hires. The form must be filed within three days of hiring the employee.

Q: Does an employer have the right to fire an employee who doesn’t provide the required document(s) within three days of beginning his or her employment?

A: Yes. If the employee can’t provide the document(s) because they were destroyed, lost, or stolen, he or she has the option of providing a receipt for replacement document(s). An employee who provides a receipt for replacement document(s) has 90 days to provide the actual document(s). Please note that an employer is required to apply the same practices and rules to all employees. Failure to do so could be interpreted as discrimination.

Q: What are the consequences for an employer who properly completes an I-9 Form for an employee, but the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) discovers that the employee is not actually eligible to work in the U.S.?

A: An employer’s obligation is to file an I-9 form and verify that the document(s) presented by the employee are valid and authentic. If the employer does so, he or she will not be charged with a verification violation. In order for the federal government to impose sanctions on the employer for hiring an unauthorized worker, it must prove that the employer had actual knowledge that the worker was ineligible to work in the U.S. Keep in mind that an employer is prohibited from knowingly continuing to employ a person whom ICE has determined is not legally authorized to work in the U.S.

Q: How can an employer make sure that the document(s) an employee presents are authentic?

A: When it comes to the authenticity of document(s), the employer is simply required to examine them to see if they (reasonably) appear to be genuine, relate to the employee, and have not expired. The I-9 form provides the types of document(s) that are acceptable for purposes of employment eligibility verification. Photocopies are not acceptable; however, an employee can present a certified copy of a birth certificate instead of the original.

Immigration and Business Lawyer Free Consultation

When you have a immigration and business question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Michael Anderson

About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.