When you hire a new employee at your Aurora business, you have a responsibility as their employer to make sure they are qualified to work in the United States. In practice, most of your obligations revolve around Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which both you and your employee must complete during or immediately after the hiring process.
Meeting the requirements for employee verification in Aurora is a serious matter, as failing to do so could lead to a prolonged investigation into your business, and intentional violations could come with severe financial and criminal penalties. If you have any questions about these requirements or your specific responsibilities as an employer, a qualified lawyer could provide valuable guidance to address your specific needs.
There are three parts to Form I-9, the first of which is the prospective employee’s responsibility to complete. The employer’s role with this part of the I-9 is to ensure that the employee has access to the complete USCIS instructions, correctly fills out every required field in accordance with those instructions, and signs and dates the bottom of the form in the appropriate spaces provided.
Once the employee has completed Section 1 of Form I-9, his or her employer must complete Section 2 and sign it within three business days of the employee’s initial hire date. The employer’s signature serves as an attestation that he or she has physically inspected the qualifying documents that the employee submitted, affirmed that they are valid and have not expired, and made photocopies of each to store with a retained copy of the completed I-9 form.
Employers only have to fill out Section 3 of Form I-9 if they rehire an employee more than three years after the date that he or she initially completed the I-9, if an employee legally changes his or her name, or if an employee needs to reverify his or her work authorization following the expiration of their work visa or other employment authorization document. An attorney could offer more information about each of these requirements for employee verification in Aurora as needed.
Employers must keep copies of every employee’s completed Form I-9 for either three years after each employee’s initial hire date or one year after his or her termination date, whichever comes later. These forms can be stored as paper, microfiche, or electronic copies either at a worksite or somewhere off-site, so long as they are easily accessible upon request from USCIS or ICE.
If an employer discovers an error in Section 2 or 3 of the I-9 Form, they are responsible for correcting it themselves. Errors in Section 1 must be corrected by the individual employee upon request from his or her employer. Further information about requirements for employee verification in Aurora is available in the USCIS Handbook for Employers M-274.
Verification of I-9 information may seem like a simple and routine part of the hiring process, but it is important for employers to stay up to date on these obligations. In addition to lengthy investigations that can interrupt your business, sustained violations of USCIS requirements for employee verification in Aurora can lead to massive fines and possibly even jail time.
A seasoned immigration lawyer could offer advice and support if you are having any issues meeting the USCIS rules regarding verifying work authorization for prospective new hires. Call today to schedule a consultation.