E-Verify 3.0, Self-Check, and I-9 Changes on the Horizon

Last week, the DHS sponsored a “listening session” held live in Washington, DC, which covered various topics including the Form I-9, E-Verify FAR changes, and the new E-Verify “self-check” initiative which will be coming out at the end of the year. Here is a quick synopsis of the major points discussed, including our analysis. E-Verify Compliance Enhancements

  • The panelists (from the USCIS Verification Division) informed participants that the E-Verify Monitoring and Compliance is in full swing, running reports on a monthly basis looking for employers that are misusing E-Verify . Using these methods, the USCIS can detect if an employer runs an existing hire who is not a federal contractor and also monitor for instances where employer re-runs the same employee through E-Verify.
  • The USCIS is taking a strong stand against identify theft (due in large part to the criticalWestat Report) by adding additional photos to the photo screen tool and continuing their monitoring compliance efforts.
  • In June, E-Verify will be able to verify employers against third party databases to ensure they exist. At present, there is no independent mechanism to verify this information, which has led some employers to accidentally enroll with the wrong EIN.
  • USCIS will be launching its new look and feel (what they call “E-Verify 3.0”) which is designed to make it easier to use and also reduce the likelihood of mistakes. Most of the changes can already been seen on E-Verify’s web site.
  • In response to a participant’s question regarding “receipts,” the USCIS panel mentioned that they are planning a future update to allow for the acceptance of receipts in the E-Verify system.

I-9 Issues

  • USCIS will be issuing guidance (on their website) regarding the new Puerto Rico Birth Certificates law, which invalidates birth certificates issued before 7/1/2010.
  • In response to a listener’s question regarding remote hires, the panel mentioned that formal guidance is warranted, and they are continually evaluating some possible recommendations.
  • Regarding electronic I-9s, there is no timeframe for issuing updated guidance, so employers should continue to rely upon the interim regulations which were issued by ICE in 2006.

E-Verify Enhancements for Employees

  • Michael Mayhew, spoke for the DHS regarding their plan to initiate an employee “self-check” feature in December this year. Individuals will be able to go to the web site and run an E-Verify query on themselves. The idea behind this new feature is to empower the US worker outside of the hire process.
  • The system will require name, address, DOB and other information based on 3rd party databases. Mr. Mayhew mentioned, however, that newly entered FNs may not be able to use the feature since the third party databases will not have sufficient information on them yet. There will also be IT protections on the backed to prevent BOTs and other automated attacks. The system will prevent queries from a particular IP address (more than 3) and only return minimal information in response to a query.
  • When someone receives a TNC through the self-check feature, he or she will go through the same process as the employer TNC. The DHS will rely on the same regulation, MOAs and so forth.
  • Lastly, to protect employees from potential abuse, the USCIS will be posting a disclaimer all over the web site to indicate that employers cannot require future employees to self-check prior to starting work.