Employers Using E-Verify Must Now Match Passport Photos with Government Photos
On September 26, 2010, The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began requiring E-Verify-participating employers to compare the photo from U.S. passports presented during the I-9 process with the government's digitally stored photos online. This new requirement occurred shortly after the one-year anniversary date of the same agency's rule requiring federal contractors and subcontractors to use the E-Verify system to verify their employees' authorization to work in the U.S.
In the E-Verify system, photo matching is activated automatically if an employee has presented with his or her Form I-9 a:
- I-551, (Permanent Resident Card)
- Form I-766, (Employment Authorization Document), and now a
- U.S. passport or passport card.
If no photo is available, E-Verify will automatically skip photo matching, or "No Photo on this Document" may display in place of a photo. Other documents with photos (such as a driver's license) will not activate photo matching.
According to USCIS, if an employee presents a U.S. passport or one of the other documents listed above, the employer will be required to make a photocopy of the passport's biographic page and keep it with the employee's I-9. If the photo screen activates during the E-Verify process, the employer will be instructed to compare the passport copy with the photo displayed in E-Verify to see if they are reasonably identical. If the employer indicates that the photos do not match, E-Verify will return a Tentative Nonconfirmation and the employee will be given the opportunity to contest. At that time, the employer must send a photocopy of the passport copy or document to USCIS for further analysis.
Click here for information on photo matching or download USCIS's E-Verify User Manual for Employers.
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