October 15, 2019

October 15, 2019

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October 14, 2019

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Insights: Pros and Cons of Registering for E-Verify

Immigration enforcement is a major focus of attention of the Trump Administration – including in the business immigration context. One measure of this interest is the increase in I-9 audits. ICE reported that worksite investigations surged in FY 2018 by “300 to 750 percent” over FY 2017. Given that, many employers are considering whether to register for E-Verify.

E-Verify is the federal web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States based upon the presented documentation. The employer must still complete Form I-9s for each employee, even if E-verify is utilized.

Whether registering for E-Verify is right for your company will depend upon a number of factors. Below are some of the “pros and cons” to consider.

Pros

  1. Some state and federal government contractors are required to use E-Verify. The E-Verify requirement is specified in the contract. Although E-Verify is currently voluntary for most employers, some states require its use and the federal government may make it mandatory for some companies.
  2. Registered companies can offer eligible foreign student-employees in F-1 visa status an additional 24 months of optional practical training. This can be useful in recruitment and retention because it allows a company to continue to employ F-1 STEM students who do not “win” the H-1B lottery. It also allows a company to employ certain STEM students for up to 36 months without petitioning for an H-1B.
  3. Using E-Verify may help companies avoid receiving Social Security “No-Match” letters.
  4. After the initial weeks on E-Verify and the TNC process, employers generally report that it is not difficult and that results are immediate.

Cons

  1. Signing up for E-Verify allows the SSA and DHS to audit your data. E-Verify’s Monitoring and Compliance unit reviews the data every 30 days to determine if normal statistical parameters are met. If E-Verify spots issues, it will notify the appropriate government agency that an audit should be conducted. SSA, ICE, USCIS, and the IER all have MOUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with E-Verify that allows data to be shared, which leads to audits by these agencies.
  2. ICE has confirmed that E-Verify has no bearing in an I-9 audit and will not impact the outcome of an audit. In other words, the use of E-Verify by a company will not decrease the chance of an I-9 audit fine.
  3. More than one staff member in the company will have to be trained to use E-Verify and they must keep up-to-date on changes. This may be costly and time-consuming.
  4. E-Verify may generate erroneous non-confirmations of work authorization.
  5. The E-Verify system has had maintenance issues, and is periodically off-line, therefore timeliness of submissions may be affected.
  6. E-Verify is not available when the U.S. government is “shut down.” After the database is opened for use again, there is often a very short period during which users can submit data for employees hired during the shut-down, which can tax company resources.
Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2019

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About this Author

Amy L. Peck, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis, Worksite Compliance Lawyer
Principal

Amy L. Peck is a Principal in the Omaha, Nebraska, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She dedicates her practice exclusively to immigration law and worksite compliance, and she is Co-Leader of the firm's Immigration practice group.

Ms. Peck is one of 21 Directors elected to serve on the 14,000-member American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Board of Governors. She currently is serving on the Board of Trustees of the American Immigration Council.

Ms. Peck is a member of the AILA National...

(402) 391-1991
Maggie Murphy Attorney, Immigration, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Office Managing Principal

Maggie Murphy is the Office Managing Principal in the Austin, Texas, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She concentrates her practice on advanced U.S. immigration and nationality law and global business immigration matters, assisting employers with immigration challenges facing international workforces.

Ms. Murphy has extensive experience in all areas of U.S. immigration law, but she primarily focuses her current practice on employment-based immigration for corporate clients and outstanding professors/researchers, as well as sophisticated immigration-related compliance work for employers of all sizes. Ms. Murphy has expertise in managing PERM campaigns for employers and in developing cost-effective strategies for companies and organizations interested in hiring professional foreign workers. She has organized massive I-9 and LCA compliance programs for Fortune 500 organizations. Ms. Murphy is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. She is a frequent speaker on business-related, immigration compliance topics and has leadership roles in several state and national sections and committees.

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