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Tips For Complying With Immigration Law When Hiring Foreign Workers

Tips For Complying With Immigration Law When Hiring Foreign Workers

The organizations, in search of specialized personnel, expand their recruitment to the global platform. This comes with great advantages which include bringing in an expert who helps in smoothening your company’s working. The cross-culture benefits are quite sufficient to bring in a working environment enjoyed by all your employees.

In light of these advantages, the employers need to understand a major side to this. The legal compliance of hiring foreign workers. This statement is very much important as there are many immigration laws in place to keep an eye on any activities which might be illegal.

The employer needs to be well aware of the immigration laws to maintain a compliant stand. Legal matters are tricky, hence we present to you some tips, which in no way is a complete understanding of the law, to stay compliant while hiring foreign workers.

Tips to stay compliant concerning immigration laws while hiring foreign workers.

1.    Stay updated about immigration laws

The first and the foremost thing to do while hiring a foreign national is to keep track of the immigration laws, understanding them fully. The law comprises of what all are the document requirements, the regulation, and the needful concerning international hiring.

Keep your HR team updated about all the latest happenings through timely immigration law training. This will help them to protect your firm and your employees from any situation.

With the number of changes happening in the immigration policies of the local body, state body, and federal rules, not being proactive in understanding these laws might cause your firm to fall into non-compliance.

2.    Incorporate, with a timely review, an inspection policy encompassing all laws

It will be better to pen down a proper plan of how your firm will be handling Immigration inspection. This is needed as it will help everyone to understand their roles in such a happening.

The policy should comprise of

  • Setting a contact person for the immigration person
  • Major situations, narrowing down the points of compliance and documentation.
  • State the person to be notified, in case of inspection.
  • Situations that need legal consultation.

            Take assistance from your legal counsel to properly build up this policy. Keep reviewing this policy to keep it compliant at all times.

3.    Employee only ones who are authorized

The candidate whom you want to employ should have all the documentation in line. Hiring a person who has no work authorization may cause you to be penalized. Hiring a citizen resolves all these issues.

But in the case of foreign nationals, no work without proper authorization will be entertained. Hire an authorized ‘alien’ who has a valid green card. This will help you mitigate any undue issues under immigration laws.

In the case of an international student, see to it that they have a proper Employment Authority Document (EAD) to be allowed to work. Commence employment only after all the valid verification of eligibility has been done.

4.    Refrain from inquiring about citizenship status

Keep this in mind, while asking interview questions, especially if the questions tend to be about their citizen status. ‘Are you a citizen?’, ‘Are you a green card holder?’-Such questions can lead your firm into legal trouble.

Instead, use an approach that is general in nature and gives an idea about their status such as ‘Are you authorized to work in the USA?’ This is done to prevent any discrimination feeling towards applying candidates. As an employer, all that you are interested in is in their working eligibility and not their citizenship status.

5.    Restrict E-Verify usage as per law

E-Verify is an online system that complements Form I-9. The usage of this system is totally voluntary for all employers unless explicitly specified by rules as per their federal contract.

It is to be known that usage of E-Verify is not permission to not implement workforce enforcements. The visits or inspections will still happen. This system considers I-9 compliance, not workforce compliance.

All employers must note that E-Verify is not to be used without any rules. The candidates must be aware that you are using this system. The usage of this system comes after the hiring decision has been made. It is not to be used as an elimination tool to keep authorized candidates. It is not to be used on individuals who are already employees.

If E-Verify states an individual to be under TNC, it means the system found some issue with regards to their verification and the person can challenge this with proper documentation. In this time period, the employer can’t take actions detrimental to this employee.

[ READ: Top 10 Common Hiring Mistakes To Avoid That Employers Make ]

6.    Maintain a timely audit

Inspection and visits can be random from the the side of government. To be in top-notch condition for all such surprise or scheduled visits, it is better to maintain a timely suit within the system.

This will help us reinforce any issues during the reviewing of the guidelines and also the documents. This audit will see to it that all documents are as per the latest immigration policies.

7.    Training foreign workers

The foreign nationals working as employees must be trained in all aspects especially the company’s compliance towards the local body, state body, and federal body.

All working in the firm, irrespective of citizens or non-citizens, must be hired with the company’s non-discriminatory policy. Also, inform your foreign employees that they might be required to speak to the investigation officer incase of such visits.

8.    Document retention

All the documents pertaining to the I-9 form must be kept safe and up to a certain time period. This time period can be either 3 years from the hiring date or till a year after their termination whichever is applicable.

Wrapping up

Employing foreign workers has some legal hassles. But following the above tips will help you understand how the rules state their working. Before any hiring, see to it that your HR team has all understanding of all legal compliance. Hope this article helps to highlight some major points in lieu of lawful compliance when hiring foreign workers.

Neil Thomas

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