Updating the Employment Eligibility Verification Process

by JPeters | April 29, 2024 5:29 pm

E-Verify+ is coming soon


The integration of E-Verify [1]with Form I-9[2] continues to inch along and should be completed soon. Because these tools — and their integration — represent such a vital aspect of the employment eligibility verification process in the United States today, staying current is imperative.

Under federal law, all employers in the United States must complete and retain a Form I-9 for each person they hire for employment. Employers can find Form I-9 on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services[3] (USCIS) website.

E-Verify is a voluntary web-based system that compares information from Form I-9 to government records to confirm an employee’s authorization to work in the United States. E-Verify+ — a “new and improved E-Verify” — is coming soon.

Employers, human resource professionals — and all those navigating the ever-changing landscape of complying with immigration regulations — are advised to educate themselves about the latest developments in the use of Form I-9 and E-Verify and how they will impact their business in the year ahead.


New Form I-9

Last summer, USCIS published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, which is required of all new hires as of January 1, 2024. While the overall requirements for completing the form remain the same, there are a few minor changes to the instructions and layout. One of the more significant technological enhancements is its mobile-friendly design, enabling users to fill out Form I-9 on mobile devices and tablets.

The new Form I-9 includes a new checkbox for employers enrolled in E-Verify to indicate that they have remotely examined identity and employment authorization documents using an alternative procedure authorized by the Department of Homeland Security[4] (DHS). This alternative procedure permits employers to examine documents remotely using video conferencing or other secure methods.

There are also instructions on re-verifying employees with Automatically Extended Employment Authorization Documents[5] (EADs). These employees must be re-verified before starting work on November 4, 2024.


Private Sector Software Concerns

The Department of Justice[6] (DOJ) and DHS recently published an Employer Fact Sheet[7] to help employers using private sector software programs to complete, change, or store Form I-9 information — or to participate in E-Verify — avoid violations.

Using a commercial I-9 software program doesn’t guarantee compliance with federal laws. This fact sheet clarifies that compliance is the responsibility of the employer, not the software vendor. The fact sheet also stipulates the key requirements for completing Form I-9 and participating in E-Verify when employers choose to use a private sector software program to accomplish these tasks.

  • Employees must have access to the current acceptable version of the Form I-9, user instructions, and lists of acceptable documents.
  • Employees and employers must be permitted to leave optional and unused fields blank.
  • Employees with only one name must be able to enter that name in the last name field and enter “unknown” in the first name field.
  • The software must meet the integrity, accuracy, and reliability guidelines in 8 CFR § 274a.2(e)[8]—(I) and be able to provide Form I-9 summary files containing all the information fields electronically stored on Form I-9.
  • The software must comply with I-9 documentation, retention, and audit requirements.
  • The software must ensure that the system dedicated to the electronic generation or storage of Form I-9 is monitored and inspected.
  • The software must uniquely identify individuals who make changes and indicate the substance of the change.

There is a concern that the commercial and proprietary I-9 software systems currently in use may lack the functionality required to comply with all these guidelines.


Coming Soon: E-Verify+

The imminent release of E-Verify+ promises improved efficiencies for both employees and employers throughout the employment verification process.

  • Speed. Most users will receive instant notifications.
  • Efficiency. E-Verify+ will reduce the need for the manual delivery of Further Action Notices[9]. This reduction in bureaucracy marks a positive shift toward creating a more seamless, less complicated verification process.
  • Security. E-Verify+ promises to provide and maintain the highest data and communication security levels throughout the verification process.
  • Support. When the system is launched, a comprehensive array of guides, tutorials, and other assistance will be available. A pre-launch overview video is available on the E-Verify website[10].


To-Do List

Besides using the new Form I-9 for all new hires, employers are advised to review and adjust their current Form I-9 policies to reflect recent changes. Employers currently enrolled in E-Verify are encouraged to explore the “alternative procedure” for remotely examining documents and decide if it makes sense for their businesses.

If you have any questions about the employment eligibility verification process — or compliance with any immigration or employment regulation — don’t hesitate to contact Orr & Reno for assistance.

Emily A. White[11]

  1. E-Verify : https://www.e-verify.gov/
  2. Form I-9: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9
  3. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: https://www.uscis.gov/
  4. Department of Homeland Security: https://www.dhs.gov/
  5. Automatically Extended Employment Authorization Documents: https://www.uscis.gov/eadautoextend
  6. Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/
  7. Employer Fact Sheet: https://www.justice.gov/d9/2023-12/joint_form_i-9_software_guidance_12_19_23.pdf
  8. 8 CFR § 274a.2(e): https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-8/chapter-I/subchapter-B/part-274a/subpart-A/section-274a.2
  9. Further Action Notices: https://www.e-verify.gov/sites/default/files/everify/letters/SampleSSAFurtherActionNotice.pdf
  10. E-Verify website: https://www.e-verify.gov/about-e-verify/e-verify-videos#EVerify+Video
  11. Emily A. White: https://orr-reno.com/our-people/emily-a-white/

Source URL: https://orr-reno.com/https-orr-reno-com-i-9-form-updates-e-verify/