New Changes Coming to E-Verify in 2024 that Simplify and Integrate the I-9 Process for Employers
Good news ahead for employers who utilize E-Verify!
An upcoming revamped version of E-Verify, called E-Verify NextGen, is scheduled for release in 2024. The proposed changes in this new version are currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget.
E-Verify NextGen will integrate the Form I-9 process with E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment verification system, and therefore shift much of the process away from HR and to the new hires themselves.
Currently, employers must complete a new Form I-9 for each new hire and enter the information into E-Verify if they are enrolled in the program. Using E-Verify NextGen, here is how the process is slated to work:
- A new hire will electronically enter their biographical information, citizenship or immigration status, and acceptable identity documents using their myE-Verify secure personal account.
- Once the system confirms the employee’s employment eligibility, the employer will be notified and can finish the verification by examining the documents – remotely, if it is taking advantage of the new alternative verification option.
- The submitted information will be used to create a completed Form I-9 for the employer to download and store.
- New hires will be notified if further action is needed to determine their employment eligibility, removing the employer’s primary role in the mismatch resolution process. Employees will receive notification of and resolve E-Verify mismatches directly with the government without requiring the employer to be an intermediary, creating a more secure and private process that can speed up case resolution, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Will Every Employer Who Utilizes E-Verify Be Required to Use the New System, NextGen?
No. E-Verify NextGen will not replace the standard version of E-Verify, at least for the time being. E-Verify employers will be able to choose which process they will utilize – the current E-Verify process or the NextGen version. Although E-Verify NextGen can make the onboarding experience smoother, some employers may wish to continue using the current process to be able to play a more active role in helping employees resolve mismatches.
Also, NextGen is not an electronic I-9 system, so some medium-to-large-size employers who depend on interconnected onboarding systems and digital storage may not be able to utilize NextGen in its initial rollout. Without a true electronic I-9 system, you still have to store the forms somewhere, still have to do reverifications manually, and still have to make corrections and purge forms – this first version of NextGen reportedly will not do any of those things.
Who is Required to Use E-Verify?
Not all employers are required to E-Verify their new hires. It is a voluntary program, except for certain federal contractors and subcontractors, as well as employers in certain states that require all or most employers to use it, including Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah.
Also, any employers looking to utilize the new “optional alternative procedure” for examining I-9 documents remotely must also use E-Verify at participating hiring sites.
This article is not fully comprehensive of all facets of the upcoming E-Verify NextGen system. Much more information and guidance will be forthcoming, as the proposed changes are still being reviewed.
SHRM HR Daily Newsletter, 9/11/2023, “Next Version of E-Verify Will Bring Big Changes”, by Roy Maurer, September 8, 2023.
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