Perhaps you have considered hiring an illegal immigrant but not sure if this is a good or bad decision. In the 80s, hiring an illegal immigrant was not so much of an issue but we have come a long way on immigration reforms. Back in the days, if you were caught hiring an illegal immigrant, the immigrant was simply deported and you lost an employee. Now, employers are required to check the work authorization of every employee. While some have helped their employees get the necessary authorization, this process can be quite complicated requiring the employer to invest a lot of time and money, which they may not have at the time. Ignoring such a serious issue exposes the employer to both civil and criminal penalties. Contact a Salt Lake City immigration attorney if you need help with your employee’s immigration case.
Some penalties for hiring illegal immigrants
Those employers who assist an employee whom they know is illegally in the country may face severe penalties such as criminal fines, and forfeiture of property or vehicles used in the crime. The civil penalties involving illegal immigrants can be anywhere from $375 per employee for the first offense and up to $1,600 in subsequent ones. If you are caught hiring the undocumented, chances are you will be fined with up to $3,000 per worker hired illegally plus up to six months in jail.
What about if it wasn’t your fault?
Although employers are required to confirm the work authorization of every new person they employ, things can fall through the cracks. You should use Form I-9 and gather the information necessary otherwise you will be held liable for knowing your employee’s undocumented status.
Some employers may choose to sponsor an employee for a green card. Green card holders can freely work and live in the United States. With the internet’s availability, it’s not uncommon for employers to hire people from overseas. However, the employee needs to apply for their legal residency in the United States through the USCIS.
Becoming a legal resident
To become a Lawful Permanent Resident you first have to meet certain eligibility requirements. The law sometimes limits the number of green cards given to immigrants each year. A mistake may cause a delay, therefore, it’s important you file all documentation properly. One of the most common green card categories is individuals with immediate US relatives such as spouses or children. Some immigrants may be inadmissible, depending on the specificities of their immigration case.
Speak to an attorney today
Immigration legal matters can be complex and stressful. An experienced Salt Lake City immigration lawyer on your side can make the journey easier and attend to the needs of your particular case. Take the first step and schedule your initial consultation today.