The New Green Card, USCIS#, and E-Verify Updates
By: Dave Fowler
As the chair of the American Payroll
Association’s Government Affairs Task Force Immigration Subcommittee, I have the opportunity
to meet monthly with a wide variety of employers as well as representatives from the
ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and USCIS (United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services) organizations within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Once a year, the subcommittee meets at the APA Annual Congress. This year Congress
was held in Washington, D.C. The subcommittee meeting was last Thursday, May 27, 2010.
There were a number of longstanding issues discussed as
well as some new ones. Sometimes working with the government to make changes is like
pounding on a brick wall with a hammer. After a large number of hits it’s possible
that a crack will develop and progress can be made towards a resolution. One longstanding
issue is a clear definition of the certification date in Section 2 of the Form I-9
and the rehire date in Section 3. This is an area where the Form I-9 and E-Verify
rules differ. The subcommittee again proposed rule language that would clarify the
allowable dates and eliminate the differences as well as the public’s confusion about
the right way to complete the Form I-9.
The subcommittee made a new request of ICE to provide a
document outlining the things an ICE Special Agent or a Forensic Auditor is looking
for during a Form I-9 audit. Employers can do a better job of maintaining compliance
if they know where the problem areas are and the proper way to complete the Form I-9.
ICE agreed to provide such a document to the subcommittee.
New Green Card
As of May 20, 2010, USCIS is issuing an updated Form I-551
– Permanent Resident Card – or Green Card. After some 50 years, the Green Card is
again green, or at least partially green. This new card is being issued to all new
recipients of a Green Card as well as to individuals with an expired, lost, or damaged
card. USCIS is also encouraging holders of an older Green Card without an expiration
date to obtain the new card. The new Green Card is valid for 10 years. The subcommittee
felt that there would not be many individuals willing to exchange a card with no expiration
date for the new card with an expiration date.
The following picture of the new
Green Card can be found on the USCIS web site.
The new Green Card contains a new value – USCIS#. Today,
this number is the same as the A# or Alien number. However, USCIS is planning to use
the USCIS# in the future as the unique number for tracking an individual’s immigration
case. The subcommittee questioned USCIS about an update to the Form I-9 to prompt
the employee to enter their USCIS# in Section 1. The Form I-9 currently prompts only
for A#. USCIS indicated that an update would need to be made to the Form I-9, but
gave no indication as to when that might happen.
The A# is on the back of the Green Card, but the subcommittee
felt that additional information should be provided to the employee to correctly complete
Section 1. One of the suggestions for providers of electronic Form I-9 and E-Verify
services is to update the text on the Section 1 data entry screens to prompt for A#
or USCIS#. This idea was approved by USCIS as long as the text on any image of the
Form I-9 (e.g., a PDF version) was not changed.
New E-Verify Site
As of June 13, 2010 E-Verify is getting a facelift. The
new site is designed to enhance usability, security, accuracy, and efficiency. The
new site features:
and modern design
and intuitive navigation
and simple language
USCIS invites E-Verify users in the Washington, D.C., area
to participate in a final user testing session of the new E-Verify site. Two sessions
are planned for June 4, 2010 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each session will last about two
hours. If you are interested in participating, e-mail USCIS at email@example.com (include
“User Acceptance Testing” as the subject line) with your contact information and preferred
session time. Your participation will help USCIS better understand your needs as they
develop publications and provide customer service related to the new E-Verify site.
Use the links below to check out the new E-Verify site:
user ID and password are still valid and all of your E-Verify cases will
be there when you log in. The first time you log in after the update, you’ll be required
to take a short tutorial to learn about the changes.
How you can prepare:
Watch the two new “How to” videos, which demonstrate how
to create a case and how
to respond to a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC).
Download the new user
manuals and quick reference guides to become familiar with how to use E-Verify (updated
publications will be available in early June).
Plan on spending about 20 minutes to complete the required tutorial when the new web
Attend one of the sneak
preview Webinars to learn more and get your questions answered.
E-Verify Self-Check Initiative
E-Verify plans to introduce a Self-Check Initiative in December
2010. This initiative will enable anyone to go to the web site and run a verification
query on him/herself and determine the accuracy his/her government record.
The subcommittee questioned USCIS on how users will
be validated and credentialed since not every individual in the country has a username
and password established with the federal government. USCIS responded that they are
looking at commercially available services to help establish the identity of an individual
by asking them to respond to a series of person questions on such topics as their
finances and real estate holdings.
The subcommittee advised USCIS to very careful about
this since having the federal government ask these kinds of questions can scare individuals
and, quite frankly, freak them out. The approach just sounded a little too Big Brother-ish
to the subcommittee. It was suggested that members of the subcommittee meet with the
USCIS self-check team to discuss experiences and alternatives.>
This weblog is sponsored by TALX.
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