On Jun 10 2010 by Elise A. Fialkowski

USCIS Announces E-Verify Redesign

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that on June 13, 2010 it will launch a redesigned E-Verify web interface.

According to USCIS, the new design will have a clean and modern design, easy and intuitive navigation, and clear and simple language.  Additionally, it will enhance the program’s security, accuracy and efficiency.

Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (“IRCA”) of 1986, all employers are required to verify the identity and work authorization of all individuals hired after November 6, 1986.  In order to comply, employers must review acceptable I-9 identity and employment eligibility documents for each employee and complete the I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification form.  E-Verify is an internet-based Employment Eligibility Verification System run by the USCIS in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of certain employees.  To use E-Verify, an employer enters employee information from the Form I-9 into the web-based system.  E-Verify then runs that information against records in the SSA and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases to confirm whether the employee is authorized to work in the United States.

While employers’ existing User IDs and passwords will remain valid, they will be required to complete a new on-line tutorial before being able to verify the work eligibility of new workers through the E-Verify system.  In addition to the mandatory tutorial, USCIS encourages employers to acquaint themselves with the new interface by watching one of their “How to Videos” posted on the website which demonstrate how to create a new case and how to respond to tentative non-confirmations (TNCs).  Additionally, USCIS has made new user manuals and quick reference guides available for download on their website.

Major Changes

The most notable changes that E-Verify users can expect to see include a new home page, case alert functionality, a new verification screen and enhanced case management features.

Home Page

The Home Page will now offer links to allow users to start a new case, update existing cases and view case alerts.  The left menu will now feature simple language as well as links that previously had been located under “My Resources.”  Case alerts have been added to the bottom of the home page and E-Verify will now alert users when they are required to take action or when there’s an update un the status of a case.  Interestingly, case alerts now includes a feature to reminder employers of the expiration of work authorization for certain employees.  However, employers should be aware that all reverification must continue to be done on the actual Form I-9, and not through E-Verify.  An E-Verify news section has also been added to the home page.

Simplified Terms

USCIS has simplified some of the language used in the E-Verify system based on user feedback. Some of the changes include:

Old Term New Term
Initiate (or run) a query Create a case
Photo tool Photo matching
Request additional verification Request name review
Exit Log out
Resolve case Close case

USCIS reminds employers that they could not update all of the E-Verify related materials at once, therefore certain E-Verify webpages and publications will continue to use the old terminology until they can be revised with new replacements.

Form I-9 Layout

Changes have also been made to the screen where employers can create, verify and close a case to more closely look a lot like the Form I-9 layout.

To reduce the chances of common typographic errors that are responsible for TCNs, USCIS has included a new segmented Social Security number field and drop-down boxes for all date fields.  Additionally, the list of documents that an employee may present for section 2 of the Form I-9 have been rewritten to list the document names first followed by their form numbers to allow for easier identification by users.

Within the “Verify Employee” screen the status of a case now displays at the top.  However, users can still access the entire case history by selecting the “View/Print Case Details” link that is located at the top right of the page.  As an added security feature, only the last four digits of an employee’s Social Security Number will now be displayed on the screen.  However, the complete Social Security number will continue to be included on TNC notices and referral letters since the employee is expected to verify the number for accuracy.

Once E-Verify displays the final results, users will be expected to click on the close case button.  The system will offer new case closure options for employers to choose from based upon whether or not the employee continues to work for the company and the disposition of the case.

View Cases

Icons will now accompany case statuses to make it easier to quickly identify cases that require attention.  Users will now be able to select the number of cases you want to display per page.  However, selections will not be saved for subsequent visits.  The maximum number of cases that can be displayed is 100.

When users click on the “View Cases” option on the home page, E-Verify will display a list of all open cases.  However, users will still be able to search for specific cases by clicking the “Search Cases” link.  Cases closed before the redesigned E-Verify launches will retain the old terms, such as case status names and closure codes.  Users will also be able to sort cases by any of the columns titles except Social Security number.  To sort cases, click on the “up/down” arrow next to the column title.

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

The redesigned E-Verify portal allows program administrators to download their electronically signed MOUs.  Program Administrators for companies enrolled as employers or designated agents can view their signed MOUs by clicking on “Edit Company Profile” in the left menu.  They can then click the green “View MOU” button at the bottom of the page.  The MOU is presented as a PDF file and is the version of the MOU that was originally signed at enrollment.  Current version MOUs are available for download in “Essential Resources.”  MOUs for employers and designated agents are electronically signed and the downloaded version indicates that the MOU was electronically signed.  MOU signature pages that were submitted by fax are not available for download.