USCIS has recently announced its new changes to the E-Verify system aimed at improving the quality of customer service. The new alteration allows for the option for prospective employees to provide their email addresses on form I-9. This would allow employees to be notified directly via email of any processing problems occurring in the E-verify system, rather than having to wait for their employer to contact them.
The online E-Verify system is used by employers to determine whether a potential employee is eligible to work in the United States. Employee information is submitted by an employer which is then cross-referenced then verified by the E-verify system. Although it is a valuable tool for employers, USCIS’s E-Verify system has come under scrutiny for having what some experts call “significant flaws”.
Previously, if employee information that was supplied by an employer to the E-verify system did not match E-verify records then, a Tentative Non-confirmation (TNC) was sent to the employer asking for corrected information. Then, the employer must contact the employee and work to correct the error. An employee must be cleared of any TNC notifications before work can be authorized. This system was problematic as an employee would have to rely on the employer to contact them promptly in order to remedy the error in a timely manner.
USCIS’s new alteration is aimed specifically at correcting such an error. On the required form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, potential employees are given the option to voluntarily provide an email address of their choice. If a TNC is issued, E-verify will use this email address to directly notify the employee at the same time as their employer. Furthermore, additional emails will be sent out if the TNC is not attended to within four days.
This voluntary option would allow for more transparency within the employment verification process. Potential employees can be more aware of what is going on in their cases by being included in important communications. Being notified of a TNC can prompt employees to take action on their cases rather than be blindsided by a delayed start date resulting from an unanswered TNC.
USCIS’s new alteration is a step in the right direction in regards to modernizing the employment authorization process. The voluntary decision provided to potential employees can help ensure that authorization is reached on schedule and without any negative delays.
Beeraj Patel, Esq.
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