E-Verify Allows Employee to Provide Copies of Photo Matching Documents
By: Dave Fowler
As E-Verify users know, the Photo
Matching feature requires employers to make and retain copies of employee documents
subject to Photo Matching. For many E-Verify employers work locations are not equipped
with copiers, scanners, and or fax machines to allow them to make copies of employee
documents subject to E-Verify Photo Matching. Purchasing, installing, training, supporting,
and maintaining such equipment is a significant burden on these employers, especially
when the employer has hundreds of locations. This unexpected expense for a large E-Verify
employer can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
At an August 2010 ICE training conference
held in D.C. one of the topics of several side discussions was having the employee
provide copies of their Section 2 documents subject to E-Verify Photo Matching. The
employee would need to provide two copies of a Photo Matching document; one to be
retained by the employer and one to potentially be sent to DHS for verification in
the event of a DHS Tentative Non-confirmation resulting from a photo mismatch. ICE
indicated that they were comfortable with this approach provided the employer inspected
the employee’s original documentation and confirmed that the copies were of the same
The only open question was approval of the
practice by USCIS. The proposal was sent to E-Verify after the training session and
on October 8, 2010 E-Verify provided the following response.
The following information has
been provided by our Policy Team.
The E-Verify MOU requires employers
to photocopy certain types of original documents an employee presents for Section
2 of Form I-9. While an employer may
request that an employee provide a photocopy of his or her document(s), an employer
may not require the employee to do so, especially if the employee refuses. Employers
may need to allow additional time for employees who do not have access to a copier
to provide copies, and should not penalize employees who refuse or are unable to provide
copies of Form I-9 documentation.
The employer may not delay or
deny employment, fire, or take any other adverse action against the employee for failing
to provide a photocopy of an original document.
If the employer requests that
any newly hired employee provide a photocopy of an original document, the employer
must request that every new employee provide photocopies of original documents, regardless
of citizenship status or national origin. The
employer is still required to view the original document and complete Section 2 of
the Form I-9 after viewing the original document.
When completing Section 2 of Form
I-9, the employer may not require that the employee provide specific document(s) or
may not reject documents that are otherwise acceptable for I-9 purposes, based on
an employee’s citizenship status or national origin.
If the employee is unable or refuses
to provide a photocopy of the original document he or she presented for Form I-9,
the employer is required to make a photocopy of the original document.
We hope this information has been
helpful to you. If you need help with
any other E-Verify issues, please do not hesitate to contact E-Verify at 888.464.4218
or email us at E-Verify@dhs.gov. You
may speak to a representative Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Local Time.
Thank you for allowing us to serve
The E-Verify Team
This information is not currently published
on the USCIS or E-Verify web sites. Today, E-Verify approved release of this information.
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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