In an era of technological innovation, even the most established processes are subject to transformation. The world of employment eligibility verification is no exception. Imagine a future where the cumbersome task of filling out Form I-9 and entering information into E-Verify is streamlined, where employees take an active role in their own verification, and where data entry errors become a thing of the past. This future is closer than you might think, thanks to the proposed features of E-Verify NextGen.
E-Verify NextGen, scheduled for release in 2024, is poised to reshape the landscape of employment eligibility verification in the United States. This ambitious initiative from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) promises to integrate the Form I-9 process with E-Verify, the federal government’s electronic employment verification system. The result? A more efficient, accurate, and user-friendly system that benefits both employers and employees.
A Shift In Responsibility
One of the most significant changes introduced by E-Verify NextGen is the shift in responsibility from HR departments to new hires. Currently, employers must complete a new Form I-9 for each new hire and then enter the relevant information into E-Verify if they are enrolled in the program. This manual process is not without its challenges, often leading to data entry errors and E-Verify mismatches.
Under the new system, new hires 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 eligibility, the employer will be notified, and they can complete the verification by examining the documents remotely, thanks to the new alternative verification option. The submitted information will be used to generate a completed Form I-9 for the employer to download and store. This seamless process minimizes the chances of data entry errors and ensures that the verification is accurate.
Another aspect of E-Verify NextGen worth noting is the empowerment it gives employees. Employers will no longer be the intermediary in resolving E-Verify mismatches. Employees will receive notifications and be able to resolve mismatches directly with the government, making the process more secure and private. While this feature may sound appealing, some HR organizations may want to retain an active role in helping employees resolve mismatches, potentially making this a point of contention for certain employers.
Seamless Job Transitions
E-Verify NextGen offers a solution to the repetitive process of completing a new Form I-9 and entering a new E-Verify case with each job change. Under this system, employees can carry their verification status when changing jobs. They can save their information in their myE-Verify account and easily update it for new employers, making job transitions smoother and more efficient.
Targeted Audience And Considerations
E-Verify NextGen is expected to be most beneficial for employers still completing I-9s on paper. For these organizations, the transition to NextGen promises a more seamless experience for new hires and employers. However, larger employers with interconnected onboarding systems and digital storage may not find the initial version of E-Verify NextGen to be the best fit. It lacks the features typically available through an electronic I-9 system. Nevertheless, as NextGen evolves, there is hope that USCIS will make it available to E-Verify Web Services agents, allowing for integration within more complex employer workflows.
A Nudge Toward Adoption
Employer use of E-Verify is currently voluntary, except for certain federal contractors, subcontractors, and employers in specific states that mandate its use. E-Verify NextGen is intended to serve as an additional incentive for more employers to consider adopting the system, particularly with the “optional alternative procedure” for examining I-9 documents remotely.
The Future Awaits
It’s important to note that E-Verify NextGen will not replace the standard version of E-Verify, at least for the time being. Employers will have the flexibility to choose between the current E-Verify process and the NextGen version. The proposed changes are currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget, signaling that the future of employment eligibility verification is on the horizon.
E-Verify NextGen promises to revolutionize the way employment eligibility verification is conducted. Streamlining processes, empowering employees, and providing a more efficient system offer numerous benefits to employers and job seekers. As we eagerly await its release in 2024, the potential for a more seamless and error-free verification process is an exciting prospect for the world of employment.
Have You Considered Partnering With A PEO
With the employment eligibility verification process constantly changing, the role of a professional employer organization (PEO) becomes even more invaluable. PEOs like GMS specialize in HR functions, compliance, and payroll, offering businesses the expertise and support they need to navigate the complexities of systems such as E-Verify NextGen. By partnering with GMS, companies can ensure they’re well-prepared for the changes ahead, minimize administrative burdens, and focus strongly on their core operations. As the future unfolds and E-Verify NextGen becomes a reality, a PEO can be the guiding hand that leads businesses toward a seamless, compliant, and efficient verification process, allowing them to thrive in a rapidly changing employment landscape. Contact our HR experts today to learn more.