Tag: uscis

New E-Verify Self-Check

On March 21, 2011, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced the launch of E-Verify Self Check, a direct extension of the E-Verify service which will allow individuals seeking employment access to their employment eligibility status.  The service will include detailed instructions in both Spanish and English for those individuals needing to correct their records.  Currently, the online program is being tested in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The service will allow prospective employees to ensure their work eligibility information is correct and they will no longer have to wait for employers to show them where the red flags are within this information.  This seems to be a step in the right direction for employment verification.  Though it does conjure up the issue that if put in the hands of employers who do not follow the letter of the law, this system backfires.  It has been brought up that some employers may require this E-Verify Self Check from candidates before submitting their job application, thus, swinging the duty of establishing eligibility to the candidate.  This is illegal and viewed as pre-screening.

As an employer, you may consider bringing in outside consulting to develop your best practices for dealing with E-Verify.  Also, in developing an outline for these practices, it will help define proper use of the E-Verify system and any oversight that you deem necessary.  According to the DHS, they expect the service to generate up to 1 million queries this year and over 8 million per year when the service is expanded to every state.

Each I-9 Form Error Can Cost Up To $1,400

Per the Immigration Reform and Control Act, all employers must have their employees complete an I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.  It’s also important to send in a W-2 Form or 1099 Form.  All HRI Members can access the I-9 Form in Answers >> Onboarding >> Validate the Right to Work in the U.S.  Employees are required to provide documentation as to their eligibility to work in the U.S.  The documents an employer can accept are on page two of the form.  It is important that you keep completed I-9’s and supporting documentation in a binder separate from personnel files and locked for safe keeping.  Although the act does not require employers to make a copy of the Form I-9 documents, federal officers have commented that they prefer to see a copy of the documents when performing audits.  Having the copies available can go a long way to show that an employer has complied with the act’s verification process in good faith.

Some common offenses are:

  • Failure to properly complete an I-9
  • Knowingly hiring, continuing to employ, or contacting to obtain the services of a person without employment validation
  • Providing or knowingly accepting false social security cards
  • Pattern and practice of I-9 compliance failure

Your Organization can protect itself by:

  • Provide someone to read and/or explain the I-9 Form to applicants/employees who are unable to read or understand the form
  • Remember to have the person who assisted the applicant/employee complete the preparer/translator section of the I-9 Form
  • Require applicants who are citizens and nationals of the U.S. to complete the I-9 Form and present the required documents
  • Don’t accept photocopies of documents; employees/applicants must present original documents