Choosing to hire a foreign worker can make good business sense and help build diverse and healthy communities. If you are trying to sponsor a foreign employee, though, the process might seem off-putting.
Many people are unsure about the responsibilities and obligations of the sponsor in Naperville. Fortunately, the process may not be so complicated with the help of an experienced immigration attorney. Legal counsel could help your business set up an I-9 verification process, create and file a visa petition on your behalf, and even advise on continuing sponsorship obligations.
Whenever a business hires a new employee, they must verify that that worker is eligible to work in the United States. This verification must happen within the first three days of hiring an employee.
Often, employers will ask applicants to certify that they are eligible to work in the United States when submitting job applications, but businesses must do more than just that to comply with I-9 requirements. Employers must also ask new hires to present specific forms of evidence to prove their eligibility to work. This documentation might include passports, drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, gas or electricity bills, or other reliable evidence.
Once the employer collects that evidence, the employer must submit form I-9 to U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) and certify that the employee’s documents appeared genuine and showed eligibility to work in the United States. This verification process is essential.
According to 8 U.S. Code §1324(a), it is illegal for any employer to hire and employ any unauthorized foreign worker. If this verification process reveals that your new employee is ineligible to work in the United States, you may want to contact an immigration attorney for a consultation.
Illinois is one of a small number of states that discourages its businesses from using the online verification tool provided by USCIS. 820 Illinois Compiled Statutes 55/12 establishes some stringent procedures that employers must follow if they wish to use E-Verify as a service. These include posting of specific notices, training their employees on the use of E-Verify, and attesting that those measures were taken.
Illinois takes a different approach to the responsibilities and obligations of the employer because it is skeptical about the accuracy and reliability of E-Verify’s system. As such, related responsibilities and obligations of a sponsor in Naperville may be different than those of a sponsor in a different state.
If you want to hire someone who is currently ineligible to work in the United States, you may be able to sponsor that person on a work visa for a temporary period. The duration of time that person would be allowed to live and work in the U.S. depending on the his or her visa type.
Some visas, like the H-2, only last for a short period to meet seasonal or intermittent labor needs. Other visas, like an O-1, can be renewed indefinitely after the initial three-year duration, so long as there is a continuing need for the visa holder’s work project.
For any visa category, though, it is the responsibility and obligation of a Naperville sponsor to petition the government for his or her employee’s work visa. A petition includes government forms, statements and declarations, documentary evidence, and filing fees. These often amount to hundreds of pages and can take a lot of time to construct.
Establishing a sustainable and compliant I-9 process, understanding state rules about E-Verify, and obtaining employee work visas are all burdensome responsibilities and obligations of the sponsor in Naperville. Experienced immigration lawyers can help offer guidance, construct compliance strategies, and apply for work visas on your behalf.
Hiring foreign workers can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience, but it needs to be done carefully. Failure to follow the procedures described above might land you in hot water with the State of Illinois or even the federal government. Call today to seek professional help with getting set up and staying compliant.