In the ongoing effort to improve the federal E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has deployed several enhancements to the E-Verify system beginning June 12, 2011. The existing E-Verify user IDs and passwords will still be valid and all cases will be available when users log in. The first time E-Verify users log in on or after June 12, 2011, they will be required to take a short tutorial to learn about the changes to the E-Verify system. To learn more, click here.
In 2010, the USCIS redesigned the E-Verify Web interface to enhance its usability, security, accuracy, and efficiency. The June 2011 upgrades to E-Verify include:
- Driver’s License Verification
- U.S. Passport and Visa Number Entry
- Password Change
- Add User
- Hire Date
- Help Text
- Case Details
- E-Verify Employer Agent Interface Enhancements
E-Verify has expanded its information sources to include driver’s license records, which strengthens the integrity of the program. Starting June 12, 2011, E-Verify will collect driver’s license information for employees who present a state-issued driver’s license as a “List B” document. Also, the list of Form I-9 documents displayed in E-Verify will be expanded to include “List B” and “List C” documents consistent with Form I-9.
While most U.S. Passport numbers are nine digits and most U.S. visa numbers are eight digits, some are not. As part of the June 2011 upgrades, E-Verify users need to know:
- U.S. Passport numbers must be between six and nine alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers).
- The “C” that precedes a U.S. Passport Card number is no longer case sensitive.
- U.S. visa numbers must be exactly eight alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers). Entering a visa number is still optional, though if an employee provides one, employers are encouraged to enter it to prevent a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC).
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy sets strict password standards for E-Verify. While loosening the password requirements is not an option, the USCIS has improved the error messages for when E-Verify users enter an unacceptable password. If E-Verify users enter a password that does not meet DHS requirements, they will be told which requirements they did not meet and what they need to do to create an acceptable password. For more information, E-Verify users should read DHS 4300A Sensitive Systems Handbook, pages 154-155 for address password standards.
E-Verify users will no longer need to provide a new user with his or her user ID and password. E-Verify will send new users a confirmation email that includes the user ID, temporary password, E-Verify login website address, and steps for getting started.
- When adding a new user, E-Verify users will still be able to accept the suggested user ID or create their own.
- E-Verify will send the confirmation email to the email address entered when the new user was added.
- Since there is no way to resend the email, if the new user deletes the email or never receives it, the new user’s password must be reset and the new user must be provided with the new user ID and password created.
The USCIS has modified the hire date in E-Verify so that it matches the Section 2 “Certification” date on Form I-9. As of June 2011, E-Verify users may select a future hire date and use the Section 2 “Certification” date from the employee’s Form I-9 as the hire date in E-Verify. This modification also enables USCIS to better accommodate E-Verify users in Guam, who have had to ensure an additional workaround because Guam is a day ahead of the continental United States. E-Verify users need to know:
- The hire date is the date the employee began (or will begin) work for pay. E-Verify users should use the Section 2 “Certification” date from the employee’s Form I-9 as the hire date in E-Verify.
- E-Verify users may select a hire date that is up to 365 calendar days in the future.
- The ability to select a future hire date does not change the rule that prohibits prescreening. A prospective employee MUST have accepted an employment offer before E-Verify users may complete Form I-9 and create a case in E-Verify. Selecting a future hire date simply eliminates a confusing workaround in cases where E-Verify is used after an employee accepts an employment offer, but before he or she begins work for pay.
- If E-Verify users rehired an employee and completed Section 3 of Form I-9, they should use the “Date of Rehire” from Section 3 of the employee’s Form I-9 as the hire date in E-Verify.
- If the employee’s hire date changes after E-Verify users have created the case in E-Verify, no additional action is required in E-Verify as you cannot change the hire date once a case is created. E-Verify users must, however, make a correction to the Section 2 “Certification” date on the employee’s Form I-9 if the employee’s hire date changes.
E-Verify users can find help while logged in to E-Verify by simply clicking on any blue question mark icon. E-Verify help text offers instructions on selecting documents, entering employee information, case status, and more. The USCIS has focused on improving guidance within E-Verify, and the June 2011 upgrades feature more than 30 new and revised help text items.
The USCIS has upgraded the “Case Details” screen available to E-Verify users to improve reporting capabilities. Users will now be able to easily locate detailed information for each case created in E-Verify. The added fields include:
- List A Document
- List B Document
- List C Document
- Employer Case ID
- Three-day rule exception reason
The USCIS has upgraded several aspects of E-Verify for E-Verify employer agents as a result of studies done with E-Verify employer agents over the past two years to improve their E-Verify experience. The June 2011 upgrades include:
- All program administrators will now receive emails confirming the enrollment of new clients. This improvement takes all the guess work out of determining when users may begin creating cases for new clients.
- The list of client companies is now sorted alphabetically increasing the efficiency of the case creation process for all E-Verify employer agent users.
- E-Verify will evaluate the “Organization Designation” of the applicable client company when users create cases. This will determine whether or not the three-day rule exception reason “Federal Contractor with FAR E-Verify Clause verifying an existing employee” is listed.
An E-Verify employer agent such as Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background screening provider accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) – can assist employers with E-Verify compliance and help them avoid government audits and penalties for non-compliance. To learn more about E-Verify services from Employment Screening Resources, visit http://www.esrcheck.com/formi9.php.
About Employment Screening Resources (ESR): Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco area with a mission to help employers and employees maintain safe workplaces, Employment Screening Resources (ESR) is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®) and provides industry leading technology, legal compliance, service, turnaround, and accuracy. ESR also wrote the book on background checks with ‘The Safe Hiring Manual’ by founder and President Lester Rosen. For more information about ESR, visit http://www.ESRcheck.com.