The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that it will perform its annual disposal of E-Verify records. The affected records include those over ten years old. This disposal will take place on June 24th, 2023. Until then, the USCIS urges employers to download these records before the agency purges its system.
The USCIS deletes records of ten years or older annually. According to the agency, this process reduces the risks to the privacy and security of workers associated with maintaining a record of personally identifiable information. In addition, the USCIS started this annual disposal of E-Verify records in 2014. It also encouraged employers to download a Historic Records Report containing all case transaction records in 2014.
Employers should review their E-Verify accounts and download any records ten years or older. Retaining this information may help them in cases when they must defend themselves against non-compliance accusations. In addition, according to the agreement required to enroll in the E-Verify program, employers must record the E-Verify case number upon each associated Form I-9. Alternatively, employers may attach a printout of the screen displaying the correct case verification number to the associated Form I-9.
In addition to this minimum requirement, saving additional E-Verify case information is generally advisable. Companies may present this data to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if and when they perform an inspection. Without this information, employers may prove unable to defend themselves with the rebuttable presumption of good faith compliance that participation in the E-Verify program provides.
Employers may use these records to prove their compliance with E-Verify’s terms and conditions. They may also use it to confirm their employees’ identity and employment eligibility. This proof can prevent costly fines and penalties while protecting employers from potentially damaging investigations and litigation.
This reasoning is why the USCIS encourages employers to download the associated Historic Records Reports before everything gets deleted. In addition, the USCIS also stressed the importance of retaining Form I-9s for employees who remain with the employer for over ten years. As such, employers should consider downloading these reports for cases last updated on or before December 31st, 2012, by June 23rd, 2023. After this date, the USCIS will delete these records, rendering them unavailable.
In addition to the electronic E-Verify system, employers should automate their Form I-9 process with an electronic I-9 management tool. This tool helps ensure uniform compliance with a simple-to-follow step-by-step process. It also offers convenient storage of all I-9 forms and associated documentation.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.