USCIS Issues new E-Verify FAQs for Federal Contractors

USCIS has issued a lengthy set of FAQs for federal contractors required to use the E Verify system. The FAQs cover which employees are affected by the rule and required to be verified under the system. The document also discusses how a company enrolls in E Verify and when a federal contractor is required to enroll in the program. The FAQs reiterate that only those federal contractors who are awarded a contract containing the E Verify clause are required to participate in the program.

The FAQs also discuss what an employer must do once they are enrolled in the program. One question asks whether a federal contractor may use information in its employee database instead of form I 9 to verify existing employees. The answer indicates that information from an employer database may be used to conduct an E Verify query if the employer has all of the relevant information contained in its database and if it has determined that it does not need to complete a new form I 9 for that employee because the existing form complies with current regulations.

The document also discusses when a federal contractor uses temporary workers from an outside agency. The question asked is who is responsible for conducting the E Verify queries, the contractor or the staffing agency? USCIS answers that in general, the staffing agency, since it is the employer, must verify the employees to be assigned to the contractor in E Verify. However, it also reiterates that the federal contractor “must ensure by whatever means you consider appropriate” that the agency has complied with the verification requirements. The agency also indicates that if an employer, a federal contractor, would prefer to handle the verification of temporary employees itself, it may choose to enroll as a designated agent and initiate queries for temporary workers that are provided by a staffing agency.

Many other topics are covered in the FAQs, including information for subcontractors, how and when an employee should be notified of a tentative non confirmation, when a new I 9 is required for a rehiring situation, and what procedures should be followed when a federal contractor decides to verify the entire workforce.
The FAQs also reiterate that it is unlawful for an employer to prescreen employees for employment eligibility using E Verify. They also confirm that participation in the E Verify program is not a safe harbor from any type of worksite enforcement actions.

Federal Contractor FAQs

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