E-Verify and I-9 News from USCIS

On May 3, 2010, USCIS hosted a listening session on employment eligibility verification. The session was proposed to serve as a method for the public to provide feedback and input to the agency regarding the E Verify program. During the session, USCIS announced that over 200,000 employers have now registered for E Verify. Approximately 800,000 worksites have been registered and approximately 1,000 new companies enroll for the program every week.

New and Improved E-Verify Site
The agency also announced that there are several changes coming for E Verify. First, they are expecting to roll out a redesigned and improved website for the program to make it easier to use for employers and to help reduce common mistakes. No specific release date was given for the new site. In addition, they indicated that the agency is continuing to work on ways to expand the photo tool in E Verify so that employers may have even more opportunities to match photos on employee documents with photos in the system. Third, they acknowledged that they are working on a new feature that will allow receipt information to be entered into the system.

E-Verify Self-Check Tool Coming December 2010
The most important announcement of the day was the rollout in December 2010 of an E Verify self check program which will allow individuals to prescreen themselves through the system. Using the system, potential employees could check their E Verify results before applying for employment, thus giving them the opportunity to rectify any errors in the database prior to having an employer put their information through the system. Presumably, employers will not be able to use the system to prescreen candidates through the self check mechanism. USCIS also warned that any employer who tries to require a potential employee to perform a self check would be an abuse of the system.

Puerto Rican Birth Certificate Update
USCIS also updated employers on a new Puerto Rican birth certificate law scheduled to go into effect on July 1, 2010, which effectively invalidates all previously issued Puerto Rican birth certificates for I-9 purposes. The agency promised that additional guidance on this change would be forthcoming.

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