E-Verify Employers Can Now Use Remote Verification Options

Early in 2023, E-Verify made headlines as Florida added legislation to enforce E-Verify as a required part of the employment process for every employee. Although this announcement was met with substantial backlash, the reality is that many other states already have this system in place, including Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah. Although it’s voluntary elsewhere, most employers prefer the simplicity and efficiency of the system, and USCIS has made the program even more accessible with its newly released remote verification options. Read on to learn more about what this involves.

Verifying Employee Documentation

For employers, finding ways to verify employee documentation is all in a day's work with new hires. If caught hiring an illegal immigrant, the fines can be hefty, and ignorance is no excuse. Because most employers would rather not take the chance, they willingly head over to programs like E-Verify to cover their bases and ensure they can prove they followed the law before hiring anyone.

However, E-Verify and similar systems have always required a new employee's in-person physical inspection of each document. These inspections are intended to confirm that the person applying for a job can work in the US. Employment eligibility documents include things like social security cards, government ID, and, in the case of foreign workers, visas.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, complying with this step was understandably difficult. Instead, employers could verify the documents remotely until the government ceases this choice on July 31, 2023. By August 30, 2023, all employers must have physically inspected employment eligibility documents for recent and upcoming new hires.

Making the Job Easier For Everyone

Still, the government recognized that virtual work is the way of the world for millions of people. Verifying documents in person when the person you’ve hired is across the world from you is challenging. To keep up with the trend of remote work, USCIS has rolled out a way for employers to continue remotely examining employment authorization and identity documentation when filing Form I-9.

Now, using E-Verify gives employers the option to select "remote verification." This involves collecting copies of the employee's documents, keeping them on file, submitting them with Form I-9, and interacting via video with the employee. An E-Verify case must be initiated if the employer has never previously hired the employee.

Only employers registered with E-Verify can benefit from this remote verification system. It began on August 1, 2023, satisfying the physical document examination clause with the August 30, 2023 deadline. If any employer wishes to use the system but was not enrolled in E-Verify during the pandemic, they have until August 30, 2023, to complete the in-person physical exam requirement and update Section 2 of Form I-9.

What’s Next?

If you’re not already using E-Verify to electronically confirm your potential employee’s eligibility, it’s wise to get a jumpstart now before your state makes it mandatory. As the employer, you’ll use the simple walk-through system to create a case for your new employee, enter the information they’ve given you on their Form I-9, and run it through the E-Verify system. 

This is then checked by databases in the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security. You’ll receive a response within seconds, and you’ll know whether the employee is eligible to work in the US or not or if further action is required. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s a great way to cover your bases and ensure you’re following the law.

In the meantime, if you’re actively searching for a foreign national to fill a position under a work visa, our skilled immigration lawyers at Visa2US are ready to help you get this important job done. Filing for an H-1B visa is a complex undertaking. Start today to have everything you need ready for next fiscal year’s registration window!


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