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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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Work Authorization

What is Work Authorization?

Work authorization refers to the legal approval and documentation that allows an individual to be employed in a specific country. This is essential for both employers and foreign nationals to ensure that employment is legal under the immigration and labour laws of the respective country. Work authorization is typically required for non-citizens and might be granted via visas, work permits, or other legal documents that confirm eligibility to work.

Importance of Work Authorization

For employers, verifying work authorization is a legal requirement to prevent penalties and legal issues associated with employing undocumented workers. For employees, having proper work authorization is necessary to legally work and reside in a country without facing deportation or legal sanctions. This process helps maintain a lawful workforce and contributes to fair labour practices.

Types of Work Authorization

Work authorization can come in various forms depending on the country and the individual’s circumstances. Common types include work visas, which are issued for specific types of jobs or industries; permanent resident status, which typically allows the holder to work without restrictions; and temporary work permits, which are granted for short-term employment needs.

Compliance Strategies

Ensuring compliance with work authorization requirements involves rigorous verification processes, such as the Form I-9 in the United States, which must be completed by both employer and employee to confirm eligibility to work. Employers should establish clear protocols for verifying work authorization and keeping up-to-date with changes in immigration laws. Regular training for HR personnel on legal requirements and the use of E-Verify or similar systems can help maintain compliance.

Work authorization is a critical component of legal employment practices. It ensures that individuals are employed per the law, supporting the integrity of the labour market and protecting the rights of workers and employers alike.

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