Are You Ready for Immigration Site Visits or an I-9 Audit?

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After a challenging year for automotive and manufacturing employers due to COVID-19, employees are beginning to make a full return to the office.  The same is true for government agencies charged with immigration compliance. During the pandemic, many employers have not been able to devote the time they had previously to compliance matters. At the same time, employee demands and terms of employment continue to evolve.

As businesses reopen and government employees return to the field, the Biden Administration is expected to continue the trend of increased employer audits and site visits that had been ramping up prior to the pandemic. Government agencies including U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the Department of Labor (DOL) can appear for a site visit at any time to review an employer’s compliance in the areas of immigration and Form I-9 compliance.

Many employers in the automotive and manufacturing industries report difficulty finding the employees needed to ramp up to pre-pandemic operation levels. Shortages in the availability of qualified US workers are leading some employers to look at sponsoring foreign nationals for temporary work visas. Work visa sponsorship comes with additional employer obligations and requires planning to be able to retain these workers in the long term.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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