12.0 Instructions for 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 those 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.

Note: “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, Public Law 97-470 (29 U.S.C. 1802).

This limited class of recruiters and referrers for a fee must complete Form I-9 when a person they refer is hired. Form I-9 must be fully completed within three business days of the date employment begins, or, in the case of an individual hired for fewer 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 the employer is designated as the agent, the employer should provide the recruiter or referrer with a photocopy of Form I-9. However, recruiters and referrers for a fee are still responsible for compliance with the law and may be found liable for violations of the law.

Recruiters and referrers for a fee must retain Form I-9 for three years after the date the referred individual was hired by the employer. They must also make Form I-9 available for inspection by a DHS, DOL, or IER officer.

Note: This does not preclude DHS or DOL from obtaining warrants based on probable cause for entry onto the premises of suspected violators 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.

Note: 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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