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Decoding E-Verify: Requirements and Process Optimization

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A new Form I-9 will be available starting August 2023. This simplified version includes, among other things, a special checkbox that allows employers to demonstrate that they have virtually verified the documents required to complete the form.

This alternative process is particularly suitable for companies that employ remote workers as it makes it easier to verify ID cards, birth certificates and other documents proving employability. The downside is that the employer must use E-Verify and meet certain program requirements.

A proper E-Verify policy can help simplify this step in the virtual onboarding process. With updated policies, your business can better support the modern workforce, ensure proper document handling, and avoid significant penalties along the way.

IceHrm gives companies the tools they need to manage employee data in a secure, central location. With our HR data and reporting software, companies can rest assured that their sensitive information is secure and compliant. Learn more about E-Verify, recent updates to the program, and ways you can improve your internal employment verification process.

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is a web-based system that allows companies to verify whether their newly hired employees are authorized to work in the United States. This handy tool, administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), compares information from an employee's Form I-9 with government records.

As a human resources or hiring manager, you can easily use the E-Verify program to ensure your company is compliant with employee laws and regulations. You can protect your business from document fraud, monitor system usage, provide proof of verification to government auditors, and more.

E-Verify Requirements

E-Verify is free, easy to use, and accessible 24/7 to participating organizations. Employers must provide physical and/or digital E-Verify declarations of participation and Department of Justice Right to Work posters indicating their participation in the program.

The process only begins when a new employee accepts a job offer from your company. Between this point and the third day of employment, you may confirm eligibility to work by completing the following steps:

1.Create a case in E-Verify: Enter the information from your employee's I-9 form.
2.Check the results: The first results will appear within seconds, but some may require action.
3.Close the case: After the final results are displayed, E-Verify will guide you on how to close the case.

Once the process is complete, simply record the employee's case number or save the complete results for your records.

E-Verify NextGen

E-Verify NextGen, scheduled to be phased in in 2024, will further simplify the verification process with a new portal for employees. With this function, employees enter their personal information and documents themselves. These are then shared, signed electronically by both parties, and compiled into a completed I-9 that the employer can download.

E-Verify NextGen is designed to work seamlessly with the current system. The goal is to reduce data entry errors, improve efficiency and give workers more responsibility. Additionally, most digitally verified employees can take their IDs with them to subsequent employers.

E-Verify Requirements by State

For many U.S. companies, electronic verification of employment through E-Verify is a voluntary step. Including this in your hiring checklist will help you support a legal workforce and reduce risk to your business. However, requirements vary by state and federal regulations. Some states require E-Verify for certain public employers, contractors, and private businesses, while others require all employers to use the system.

At the federal level, it is mandatory for contractors and subcontractors subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) clause. The FAR Rule helps promote fair, standardized practices for the procurement of products and services, and E-Verify supports this initiative.

Do You Need to Use E-Verify For All Employees?

Electronic verification cannot be carried out selectively. Participating employers are required to apply the same procedures to all new employees to prevent discrimination based on nationality, immigration status and other factors. From the day your company enrolls in the program, you will be required to use E-Verify for new hires.

Special rules apply to federal contractors and subcontractors. In addition to authenticating new hires, you also need to verify either the existing employees covered by the contract or your entire workforce with E-Verify. This excludes employees who meet certain criteria, such as:

  • Professionals who carry out supporting work
  • Individuals with a secret or top secret security clearance
  • Employees hired on or before November 6, 1986
  • Employees who have previously been authenticated by your organization to E-Verify

How to Improve The E-Verify Process

Just like a good first impression, onboarding helps set the tone for the employee-employer relationship. While determining employability is relatively simple, effective and long-term management of the E-Verify process ensures that this phase of the hiring process runs smoothly.

Set Clear Expectations Regarding Employment Eligibility

As a human resources manager, it's your job to educate new employees about your company's best hiring practices. Work with your team to set clear expectations around employ ability and communicate these to employees from the start. Clear lines of communication during each onboarding phase ensure more transparency in your company and a more positive employee experience.

In this case, this might mean entrusting a human resources manager with the E-Verify process, showing them how to do it properly, and giving them key deadlines. This also includes discussing with new employees how the process works. Let them know what they need to complete their I-9 form and what happens if E-Verify cannot confirm eligibility.

Clear Instructions for I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification

Form I-9 is the key to the E-Verify system. New hires need to know which sections to fill out on the paper form or (starting in 2024) how to do everything online. Typically, an employee receives this form on or before their first day of work on which they must complete their portion.

As part of the authentication process, employees must provide original documents to prove that they are authorized to work in the United States. The Form I-9 instructions clearly define what are considered acceptable documents in three different categories:

List A documents provide proof of both identity and work authorization:

  • US passport or passport card
  • Permanent Resident Card (PRC) or Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign passport with temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 print endorsement
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card with photo (Form I-766)
  • Foreign passport with Form I-94 or Form I-94A and work endorsement
  • Passport from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) or the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) with Form I-94 or Form I-94A

List B documents confirm identity:

  • Driver's license or ID card
  • School ID card with photo
  • Voter registration card
  • US military ID or service record
  • ID card for military personnel
  • US Coast Guard Merchant Marine Identification Card
  • Document from a Native American tribe
  • Canadian driver's license

For persons under 18 years of age, the following List B documents are permitted:

  • School certificate or report card
  • Clinic, doctor or hospital records
  • Certificate from a daycare center or kindergarten

List C documents show eligibility for employment:

  • Social Security Card
  • Birth certificate issued by a state, county, municipality, or U.S. territory
  • Certificate of Birth Notice (Form FS-240, Form FS-545, or Form DS-1350)
  • Document from a Native American tribe
  • U.S. Citizen ID (Form I-197)
  • ID card for use by a U.S. resident (Form I-179)
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Work Authorization Document

The employee must submit one document from List A for verification, or one document from List B and one document from List C. In some cases, the employee may provide receipts instead of the original documents.

Implement an Employment Verification Process While You're At It

E-Verify best practices go hand in hand with other HR policies. If you set up processes for authenticating employment relationships, you should also define processes for applying for employment confirmations. HR teams perform this task quite frequently, and it is another task that requires careful record keeping.

An employment verification letter is written by an employer to confirm that a person is currently working or has previously worked at your company. It typically contains employment details, salary and other important information that a third party needs to know and is often requested when someone:

  • Applied for a loan
  • Rents or buys a house
  • Need to adjust existing loans or payments
  • Undergoes a background check on a potential new employer

Using an employment verification letter template and your employee's documentation, it's easy to complete this request with personal details. By putting a consistent process in place, you can ensure this happens quickly, accurately and complies with applicable data protection laws.

Keep Data Secure with Employee Data Software

For HR managers, the security of HR data is of utmost importance. The cost of data breaches was $4.45 million in 2023. This highlights the importance of end-to-end information security and the potential consequences for employers and employees. Taking the effort to ensure that employee data is stored securely and only accessible to authorized users will strengthen your company's compliance strategy and overall trust in your company.

In addition to developing best HR practices, many companies are investing in a Human Resources Information System (HRIS) platform. Employee database and records software helps keep everyday processes running smoothly, from employee onboarding to record retention and beyond.

Enhance your onboarding and E-Verify process with IceHrm's robust HR solutions. Prioritize compliance, security, and efficiency in managing employee data. Invest in the future of HR with IceHrm.

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