USCIS Seeks Comments on the Next Generation of E-Verify
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) seeks comments by August 28, 2023, on “E-Verify NextGen” (I-9NG), a new online “demonstration project” intended to further integrate the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, process with the E-Verify electronic work eligibility confirmation process “to create a more secure and less burdensome employment eligibility verification process overall for employees and employers.” This internet-based project “will permit employees to create their own secure account, resolve E-Verify tentative non-confirmations (also referred to as ‘‘mismatches’’) in advance and directly with the government, instead of through their employer, and then receive an electronic verification response that they can use and update with subsequent employers,” USCIS said.
The goal of E-Verify NextGen is “to streamline the employment eligibility verification and confirmation process for employers and employees” by:
· Resolving E-Verify mismatches and electronically issuing an employment-authorized result to individuals who E-Verify finds to be work authorized;
· Allowing employees to receive notification of and resolve E-Verify mismatches directly with the government without requiring the employer to be an intermediary; and
· Removing the employer’s primary role in the mismatch resolution process. While employers would be informed about their employee’s mismatch, this process removes employers as the intermediary to communicate a mismatch to the employee. Affected employees are instead notified directly and provided the instructions required to resolve the mismatch.
SOURCE: USCIS notice, 88 Fed. Reg. 42093 (June 29, 2023). https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-06-29/pdf/2023-13786.pdf
USCIS Ombudsman Release Annual Report for 2023
The Office of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) Ombudsman’s Annual Report for 2023 examines the effects of backlogs and additional challenges facing the agency. It recommends actions USCIS can take to address the human consequences and detrimental impact on the agency of backlogs.
Among other topics, the CIS Ombudsman reviewed requests for evidence (RFEs) in L-1 intracompany transferee petitions, explicitly looking at RFEs issued for extension petitions for the L-1A and L-1B nonimmigrant categories. The report notes that the CIS Ombudsman has received stakeholder reports of overly broad and burdensome RFEs, duplicative RFEs, inconsistent adjudications, lack of deference to previous decisions, and a misunderstanding of the standard of proof.
To improve the quality of RFEs in L-1 petitions, the CIS Ombudsman recommends that USCIS take steps to:
· Develop and provide training that ensures adjudicators understand how to apply the preponderance of evidence legal standards to the evidence typically presented in each type of case;
· Develop and provide annual training to ensure that adjudicators know how to comply with applicable regulations for L-1 extension cases;
· Streamline the L-1 extension petition adjudication for cases involving the same facts with no material changes (such as the same petitioner/beneficiary/job);
· Update RFE templates and systems to ensure that they are current, understandable, and concise; and
· Establish a robust quality assurance program for RFEs.