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I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form

Orlando Employment-Based Immigration Attorney

U.S. law requires companies to only employ individuals who can legally work in the United States, which can be a U.S. citizen or a foreign citizen with the necessary employment authorization. Form I-9 is the Employment Eligibility Verification Form used by employers to verify an employee's identity and their eligibility to accept employment in the United States. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services provides the form and requires that both employers and employees complete the necessary sections during the hiring process.

Some important elements of Form I-9 as it relates to immigration are as follows:

Employee Responsibility
Employees are required to complete Section 1 of the Employment Eligibility Verification Form at the time of hire. If an employee cannot read or write English, a translator or preparer may complete the form and sign it. In addition, employees must sign the form and provide evidence and documentation of their identity and employment eligibility. This means employees who are not U.S. citizens must meet documentary requirements, which can include supplying an employer with passports, green cards or certificates of naturalization. Employees must also provide their employment authorization evidence, depending on their immigration status.

Employer Responsibility
Employers must complete Section 2 of the I-9 form within three days of an employee starting work. The employer is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the form is completed properly and in a timely manner. Employers can be held liable if they knowingly hire workers who do not have permission to gain employment in the United States, and can be subject to imprisonment and fines. Employers are also required to retain Employment Eligibility Forms for all current employees. They must also retain Form I-9 for three years after the date of hire, or one year after the date of employment, whichever is later.

When identification documents near expiration, employers must update or re-verify an employee's identity. Re-verification does not apply to accepted non-expired green cards when they reach their expiration date, or to any List B documents. Employers must complete Section 3 when re-verifying employee information.

E-Verify is an online system that allows employers to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. A relatively new system, E-Verify is free for all employers who want to ensure that they are employing a legal workforce. Participation in E-Verify is generally optional for most business, but certain companies or employers may be required by state or federal law to use E-Verify when hiring employees. For example, E-Verify is mandatory for employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain a Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify clause.

Audits and Sanctions
As employment issues continue to be an increasing concern in America, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have ramped up efforts to combat employment of workers who are not permitted to work in the United States. Audits are regularly conducted, and employers who are found to falsify documents or knowingly employ unauthorized employees can be subject to sanctions and criminal penalties.

Employment Eligibility Legal Assistance

Whether you are an employee or an employer, Robert Brown LLC is prepared to thoroughly review whatever I-9 issue you may be facing. Employment eligibility and verification have become hot-button issues in recent years, and it is essential that all employees and companies have a thorough understanding of the laws and procedures involved in hiring authorized workers.

If you would like to learn more about Form I-9 or if you would like to discuss an employment eligibility matter with an experienced member of our legal team, contact Robert Brown LLC today. We serve clients throughout the greater Orlando area.

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