If you own a business and employee anyone that is not a natural born citizen, it is absolutely essential that you obtain copies of immigration records for those that work for you. Knowing whether your employees have a green card, a work visa or have gained citizenship is vital to keeping your interests protected. Keeping track of when a work visa expires can mean the difference between having a valued employee and having a huge liability, should immigration come and do a spot check. The fines for hiring someone who is technically an illegal alien are steep and the repercussions long lasting.

Immigration records will tell you when a person entered the country and what country they were born in. In the United States, immigration records were not kept until the 1830’s. Prior to that it is unknown exactly how many people entered the United States from other countries. In the 1830’s legislation was passed, requiring all ship’s captains to maintain a list of all passengers that were entering the country. These lists are available today in national archives and can be searched through a number of internet search services.

Immigration today is much different than it was years ago. If you examine immigration records from years past, you will find that the number of people allowed to immigrate to the United States has decreased significantly. There are now more options open in terms of ways that immigrants can live in the United States without being citizens. There are a number of different kinds of visas, ranging from fiancé visas for those marrying a US Citizen to student visas for those attending school here to work visa for those coming here strictly for a job. As an employer, it is important that you find out what terms your employees are in this country on and whether or not they are actually eligible to work here.

Immigration records can help you protect your business and keep you on the right side of the law. The rules surrounding immigration are very exact and even the smallest deviation can cause huge headaches and hassles if they are not followed. Make sure that you ask any employee that is not from the United States to provide you with paperwork substantiating their right to work in this country and you will help save yourself and your employee from a lot of potential trouble, fines and possible deportation.