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An Employer Can Ask Questions About Citizenship and/or National Origin Pre-Hire:

Some Employer’s think they cannot ask any questions about Citizenship and National Origin in the hiring process, but that is NOT True

  • Legacy OSC (now the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the DoJ or IER) has published several technical assistance letters on this topic. For example, February 2013 Technical Assistance Letter states in pertinent part that “If the information is sought for compliance with export licensing requirements, and not for employment eligibility verification or any discriminatory purposes, inquiring about an applicant’s citizenship or country of origin for this purpose would not appear to violate the INA’s anti-discrimination provision as long as such inquiries are made uniformly and without the intent to discriminate on the basis of national origin.”
  • These pre-employment questions, must be carefully crafted and the need to know cannot be speculative.
  • How do you frame these pre-employment questions?
  • That’s where effective Counsel who understands both Immigration and Export Compliance comes in. IER will not give Employers legal advice.