Federal law prohibits employers from knowingly hiring or knowingly continuing to employ an unauthorized worker.
Employers are required to take steps to ensure that employees are authorized to work in the United States.
The primary step is for employers to complete an I-9 Form and inspect an employee's documents that establish identity and work eligibility. An employer can be liable for failing to comply with the employment eligibility verification requirements.
I-9 forms must be completed for each employee hired after Nov. 6, 1986. Section 1 of the I-9 Form, which is completed by the employee, must be fully completed and signed on the day the employee begins work.
Even though the employee completes Section 1, the employer can be liable for any violations or omissions, so it is important for the employer to check it
The employer must review original verification documents presented by the employee and complete Section 2 of the I-9 form within the first three days of hire (if the person is hired for three days or less, however, the entire form must be completed at the time the employee begins work).
For additional information on the employment eligibility verification process, click on the following topics:
- I-9 Form and Instructions
- Employment Eligibility Verification: Completion of the I-9 Form
- FAQ: I-9 Form and Employment Verification
- EEOC Fact Sheet: National Origin Discrimination
Temporary and Permanent Visas for Employees
Employers also need to be familiar with U.S. immigration laws if they wish to hire foreign citizens to work in the United States.
Multinational employers may wish to transfer employees from offices abroad to work in the United States; U.S. employers may wish to hire foreign students or other foreign nationals with particular skills.
There are a variety of temporary (nonimmigrant) and permanent (immigrant) employment-based visa options.
- Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services. BCIS is responsible for enforcing the immigration laws, including decisions on non-immigrant and immigrant visa petitions.
- U.S. State Department. The State Department is responsible for issuing non-immigrant and immigrant visas, and its website also includes information on visa options for workers.
- Immigration and the U.S. Visa System
- Immigration Forms, Fees, and Filing Locations