USCIS issues User Manual to clarify E-Verify for federal contractors

In the August 3 post, DHS strengthens employment verification, contractors must use E-Verify, we discussed the federal contractor rule that, as of September 8, 2009, requires all covered federal contractors and subcontractors to use E-Verify to verify the work eligibility status of their employees.

To clear up any confusion regarding the specifics, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released an E-Verify User Manual for Federal Contractors. The 68-page (!) supplemental guide covers:

• applicable regulations
• instructions on verifying new and existing employees via Form I-9
• E-Verify enrollment and participation as a federal contractor
• exemptions and exceptions for qualifying contractors, subcontractors, independent contractors and affiliates
• enrollment instructions for organizations that qualify for exceptions
• enrollment instructions for contractors not yet enrolled in E-Verify
• instructions for contractors already enrolled in E-Verify

According to the Wall Street Journal, about 169,000 federal contractors and subcontractors (who employ approximately 3.8 million workers) will be affected by the new E-Verify federal contractor rule. The WSJ article explains the key steps regarding the program:

1) After an E-Verify provision is put into its contract, a federal contractor or subcontractor will have 30 days to enroll in the E-Verify system
2) Each employer must sign a memorandum of understanding with the government to use E-Verify
3) Contractors will use a secure Web site to check the legal status of workers involved in a government project, except for some who are exempt because of security clearances
4) In about 97% of the cases, contractors will receive an immediate electronic response confirming the employee's eligibility to work
5) In other cases, contactors will receive a "tentative non-confirmation" notice; contractors and employees will then have eight days to try to address any problems with the Social Security Administration or immigration officials

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