How much do you know about immigration law for employers? If you’re an employer with immigrants in your employment, it’s important that you are familiar with the law, so today we’re taking a look at 7 things you need to know when it comes to immigration law for employers.
Immigration Law for Employers: 7 Things You Need to Know
1. It’s Your Responsibility to Do Your Due Diligence
In the U.S., employers are responsible for ensuring that anyone that they hire is eligible to work within the United States. The USCIS provides information on the employment authorization verification process for employers, however, if you are having difficulty understanding this outline or if you have questions about how and when to use the employment authorization verification process, it’s always best to consult an immigration attorney who can answer any questions that are specific to your circumstances.
A failure to verify that your employees are eligible to work within the U.S. is inexcusable and will lead to penalties. Giving the excuse “I didn’t know!” is unacceptable to the federal government.
2. Hiring a Permanent Resident
If you are a U.S. employer and you are hiring a foreign national, you may hire a foreign national who already holds a green card – is a permanent resident of the United States. When hiring a permanent resident in the United States, however, you must still follow the employment verification requirements that are set out by the federal government to ensure that you are meeting all regulations as they apply to your industry and your business.
3. Hiring a Foreign National Without Permanent Residency
If you are trying to hire a foreign national who does not already have permanent residency in the United States, the hiring process is somewhat more complicated. You must first petition for the individual you are trying to hire so that they can get the right classification needed to work for your company. As an employer, you may file an immigrant petition (permanent) or a nonimmigrant petition (temporary) on behalf of the foreign national you are interested in hiring.
4. Understanding Employment Authorization
As a United States employer seeking to hire foreign nationals to work for your company it’s important that you understand employment authorization.
An alien must be authorized to work in the U.S. in order to work for you, however, there are a few immigration classifications that can provide an immigrant with the authorization to work in the U.S.
Aliens who have been admitted as permanent residents, those who have been granted asylum, those who have received refugee status, and those who have been admitted in work-related nonimmigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Other foreign nationals seeking to work in the U.S. may need to apply individually for employment authorization.
5. Petitioning a Foreign National Worker
As a U.S. employer, if you are going to be petitioning a foreign national worker, it’s important to know that there are multiple ways to go about the petitioning process. The correct petition for one worker may not be the correct petition for another since there are different petitioning processes depending on an individual’s eligibility status. For example, when petitioning a nonimmigrant worker when filling in the Form-129, you need to petition the H-1B category for a nonimmigrant in a Specialty Occupation, but H-1C for a Registered Nurse. The form I-140 petition for immigrant workers, however, is divided into three categories – first preference employment-based immigrants, second preference employment-based immigrants, and third preference employment-based immigrants. If you are confused about how to petition for a foreign national worker or which type of petition to file, contact an attorney who is familiar with immigration law for employers like Attorney Nelson, who can help you to get a better understanding of immigration law overall as well as guide you through the petition process.
6. U.S. Tax Withholding Rules
In the United States, special tax withholding rules may apply to employers who hire foreign workers. As an employer, it’s important that you familiarize yourself with any U.S. tax withholding rules that may apply to you before you hire a foreign national so that you understand what you are getting into. If you already have a foreign national in your employment and are unfamiliar with U.S. tax withholding rules that may apply to you, it’s important that you get on top of the issue right away by consulting an attorney who specializes in immigration law for employers. If you are currently in or around the Pasadena, California area, Nelson and Associates would be more than happy to help you, just pick up the phone and give us a call at 626-683-3451!
7. Labor Certification
As a U.S. employer, in order to sponsor or petition a foreign national to work for your company, you may be required by the Department of Labor to have a valid labor certification. This certification means that the U.S. Department of Labor has verified that there is not enough qualified and willing U.S. workers available to fill the position that you are seeking to fill. The purpose of this certification is to ensure that your company hiring a foreign national worker will not adversely affect the working conditions and wages of similar U.S. workers.
Need to Know More About Immigration Law for Employers?
If you need to know more about immigration law for employers, Nelson and Associates can help! With close to 25 years of experience in immigration law, Attorney Nelson can answer any questions you have! Just pick up the phone and dial 626-683-3451 or fill in an online callback request on our site!