Contributed by Sara Zorich
On July 1, 2013, USCIS announced that a new field had been developed in E-Verify to document the email address for any employee who voluntarily provided it on the Form I-9. The new Form I-9 issued by USCIS in March 2013 contains a new field in which employees can voluntarily provide their email address on the form. Employers utilizing E-Verify must be aware that as of July 1, 2013 if an employee voluntarily provides his/her email address on the Form I-9, the employer MUST document that email address in the provided field in the E-Verify system when the employer creates an E-Verify case for that employee.
USCIS has indicated that employers are not required to go back and update the E-Verify program for E-Verify cases run prior to July 1, 2013, thus the new rule is only applicable going forward. Note, employers may not require an employee to provide his/her email address on the Form I-9 as it is completely voluntary for the employee nor can the Employer dictate which email address is used on the form. It is at the discretion of the employee to provide their email address or not and what address is provided.
USCIS will be using the email addresses entered into E-Verify to notify employees of Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC) Notices. In the event a TNC is issued for an employee whose email address is in the system, USCIS will send an automatic email notifying the employee of the TNC. USCIS may also email the employee regarding a reminder of the pending TNC or the need to visit the Social Security Administration to prevent future TNCs if they have been confirmed as work authorized.
USCIS’s new initiative to email employees regarding TNC’s DOES NOT alter an Employer’s requirements pursuant to the E-Verify manual in addressing an employee designated with a TNC. Thus, USCIS’s new initiative is solely an additional notification to the employee of the TNC designation and employers should continue to follow the required steps in handling and addressing an employee’s TNC designation pursuant to the E-Verify Manual.