Philadelphia I-9 Eligibility Verification Lawyer
Anyone who hopes to work in the United States must either be a citizen or have work authorization. Employers who knowingly employ people without authorization face many penalties, including possible criminal prosecution. It is vital that both employers and employees understand their responsibilities under current immigration law. At Ellenberg Law Group, our Philadelphia I-9 eligibility verification lawyer can help with documentation and the preservation of records. Receiving expert legal advice now can prevent headaches later.
What is I-9 Eligibility?
Employers and employees have certain obligations to ensure that only legally authorized workers are employed. Some steps include the following:
- Employers cannot knowingly hire someone who lacks authorization to work in the U.S.
- An employee must fill a Form I-9 within three days of beginning employment.
- Employers can fire a worker who doesn’t fill out a Form I-9 within three days.
- Employees must have valid documents that establish their identity and employment authorization, such as a valid passport.
- Employers should not accept documents, like a Social Security card or identification card, that appear fraudulent.
- Employers should retain I-9 forms for the amount of time specified in the law.
Some industries are more prone to hiring illegal workers than others. Still, all employers have obligations under immigration law to ensure they are only employing those with the proper authorization.
An immigration attorney is a good asset to have. Many companies lack proper tracking or organization systems, and it’s easy to toss out documents when making a move or cleaning out files. Unfortunately, violations of the verification law can result in fines, prohibition from receiving government contracts, and even criminal penalties.
If you are a new company, we can walk you through what documents can establish employee identity and work authorization. For example, a permanent residency card or foreign passport with I-551 stamps can establish both. By contrast, a driver’s license can establish identity and a Social Security account number card can establish work authorization. You must verify I-9 eligibility for all employees, not just those you suspect of being in the country illegally. And if you find out you did not verify eligibility, contact an attorney quickly.
The government also audits companies, which can be stressful. Proper preparation is necessary to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. If you have potential violations or retention issues, you need to address them with an attorney promptly. We can then present your side of the story to the government to minimize any possible penalties.
If you are a worker trying to establish identity or authorization, we can help also. We understand the immigration system is confusing and you might not know what documents you need. We can answer your questions as well.
Decades of Experience in Immigration Law
The risk of hiring unauthorized workers is high. To protect your company’s reputation, you should contact Ellenberg Law Group today. We have worked with many Philadelphia-area businesses to ensure immigration compliance and obtain work visas for those who need them. To talk with a Philadelphia I-9 eligibility verification lawyer, please call us today.