12 Steps To Immigration Compliance In 2012

Author:Ms Shanon Stevenson
Profession:Fisher & Phillips LLP

Although the Presidential candidates will not be delving into all the volatile details of immigration in an election year, employers should tackle immigration issues to avoid monetary penalties and criminal sanctions. Here are twelve steps all employers should take in 2012 to comply with the myriad of immigration laws:

1. Conduct An Annual I-9 Audit

The I-9 audit should be conducted by someone other than the person responsible for completing I-9s because the individual completing I-9s often repeats the same error. Correctable errors on the I-9 should be fixed, the change should be initialed and dated, and the words "Per Self Audit" should be placed beside the correction. Some I-9 errors cannot be corrected. For example, if the employer completed Section 2 of the I-9 later than three business days from the employee's first date of work for pay, the date cannot now be changed to show a timely completion. 2. Incorporate Immigration Policies in Handbooks

Ensure immigration policies are in place, up-to-date, and followed. Develop and disseminate an immigration-related notification and response policy so all employees know how to handle unannounced government visits, including site visits from the H-1B Fraud Investigation Unit. 3. Audit H-1B Public Access Files

H-1B employers are required to maintain a public access file for each H-1B worker and must make the file available for public examination within one working day after the Labor Condition Application ("LCA") is filed with U.S. Department of Labor ("USDOL"). The public access files for most employers must contain:

A copy of the certified LCA; Documentation of the wage rate to be paid to the H-1B worker; An explanation of how the actual wage was calculated (e.g. copy of the pay scale); Documentation used to established the prevailing wage for the position; A copy of the internal notice of posting given to the union/employees; and A summary of the benefits offered to U.S. workers in the same occupation as the H-1B worker and an explanation of any differentiation in benefits. Employers must retain all records one year beyond the end date on the LCA or, if a complaint is filed, until the complaint is resolved.

4. Properly Withdraw H-1Bs

If an Employer terminates an H-1B worker or the worker resigns before the end of the three-year period of authorized admission, the employer should notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service ("USCIS") in writing of the end of the employment and withdraw the underlying...

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