11.0 Instructions for Agricultural Recruiters and Referrers for a Fee

Under the INA, it is unlawful for an agricultural association, agricultural employer, or farm labor contractor to hire, recruit, or refer for a fee an individual for employment in the United States without complying with employment eligibility verification requirements. This provision applies to agricultural associations, agricultural employers, and farm labor contractors who recruit persons for a fee, and those who refer persons or provide documents or information about persons to employers in return for a fee.

“Recruiter or referrer for a fee” is limited to agricultural associations, agricultural employers, or farm labor contractors as defined in Section 3 of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, Pub. L. 97-470 (29 U.S.C. 1802).

This limited class of recruiters and referrers for a fee must complete Form I-9 when you hire a person they refer. You and the employee must fully complete Form I-9 within three business days of the date employment begins, or, in the case of an individual hired for less than three business days, at the time employment begins.

Recruiters and referrers for a fee may designate agents, such as national associations or employers, to complete the verification procedures on their behalf. If they designate you as the agent, you should provide the recruiter or referrer with a photocopy of Form I-9. However, recruiters and referrers for a fee are still responsible for complying with the law and may be found liable for violations of the law.

Recruiters and referrers for a fee must have a Form I-9 for each individual they recruit or refer that is on an employer’s payroll. The Form I-9 must be retained for three years after the individual stops working for the employer. They must also make Form I-9 available for inspection by a DHS, DOL, or IER officer.

If DHS or DOL suspects that you have violated employment eligibility verification requirements, they may obtain warrants based on probable cause to enter your premises without advance notice.

The penalties for failing to comply with Form I-9 requirements and for requiring indemnification apply to this limited class of recruiters and referrers for a fee.

All recruiters and referrers for a fee are still liable for knowingly recruiting or referring for a fee aliens not authorized to work in the United States.

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