Immigration Attorney in North Carolina
I-9 Compliance & Regulations
Immigrants to the United States must provide verification of their right to work in the U.S. before accepting any kind of employment. The form used to verify this right is known as Form I-9 and is usually provided by the employer to be filled out no later than the time of hire. Compliance with I-9 regulations is extremely important in order to avoid complications, so consult with a North Carolina immigration lawyer right away if you are an employee or employer facing a Form I-9 issue.
Employee & Employer Responsibilities
It is the employee's responsibility to complete Section 1 of the form truthfully and completely, and to submit it to their employer in a timely manner. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure that the employee completes and submits their section of Form I-9 before beginning work. In addition, the employer must complete part two of Form I-9 by verifying the information provided by the employee by examining evidence of their identity and eligibility. This must be completed within three days of the date employment begins.
Employers must retain their employees' I-9 forms for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date of termination, whichever is later. Also, if they choose to retain one employee's I-9, they must do so for every single other employee. These forms can be retained in paper form, electronically, or by microfilm or microfiche.
Many employers use E-Verify, an internet-based system used to determine employment eligibility, to verify their employees' completed I-9 forms. The program is free and makes it simple for to ensure that their employees have correctly completed the Form I-9 and are truly qualified to work. It does not, however, meet the legal requirements for retention. An employer must handle that aspect on their own.
Re-Verification of Form I-9
Once an I-9 expires, an employer must then re-verify that the employee is still legally qualified to work in the United States. Re-verification is accomplished by completing Section 3 of the Form I-9 and must be done when an employee's employment authorization has expired, if an employee is rehired within three years of the original I-9 completion, or if the employee changes their name. Employers are encouraged by the USCIS to remind their employees 90 days before re-verification is necessary that they will be required to provide a List A or List C document proving their continued employment authorization.
In an effort to deter illegal immigrant employment, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducts audits after issuing a notice of inspection (NOI). These audits are intended to uncover lack of I-9 compliance and will result in fines if any mistakes are uncovered. As an employer, it is in your best interest to hire an immigration lawyer to help you prepare for such an audit if you've received an NOI.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1984 makes provisions that prohibit employers from hiring, recruiting, or referring illegal immigrants for a fee. There are civil penalties for violation of these sanctions as long as there is an evident pattern of practice.
Why You Need a Lawyer
For any and all of the situations listed above, it is vital that you retain the services of an immigration attorney from our firm. Our lawyers have handled nothing but immigration cases for decades and are capable of assisting you with any kind of I-9 compliance issue, whether you are an employer or an employee. Get started today by calling our offices to contact an I-9 attorney. We offer a case evaluation, so contact us right away to make an appointment. We can help!