Author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor

December 10, 2013

On December 8, 2013 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released revised Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for E-Verify browser users and new MOUs for users accessing E-Verify through web services.

E-Verify is a web-based program operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It allows participating employers to electronically verify the information provided by new hires on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. To participate, an employer must sign an MOU, which sets forth the responsibilities of the employer, DHS and SSA.

The new MOUs are now customized to each type of E-Verify access method and are simpler to read and understand. An access method is a type of E-Verify account. Employers can choose one of the following types of access methods during the enrollment process:

  1. Employer;
  2. E-Verify employer agent;
  3. Corporate administrator; or
  4. Web services (i.e., where an employer's software "interfaces" with E-Verify).

A fact sheet regarding the new and revised MOUs provides the following information for new and current E-Verify users:

  • New employers that join E-Verify after December 8, 2013 will be required to sign a new or revised MOU that indicates a revision date of June 1, 2013 during enrollment.
  • The effective date of the MOU for new users is December 8, 2013.
  • The effective date of the MOU for existing users is January 8, 2014.
  • E-Verify users are not required to sign a new MOU but they are bound by any enhancements made to E-Verify, including the new and revised MOU that applies to their access method.
  • MOU titles clearly specify the access method to which the MOU applies.
  • MOUs now contain plain language in the active voice and have been reorganized for easy reading.
  • Bullets have been changed to letters and numbers.
  • The content has been separated into shorter sections.
  • The MOUs include enhanced privacy protections and instructions for reporting privacy and security breaches.