Wednesday, July 2, 2008

E-Verify and OPT Extension

USCIS has declared that, F-1 students with STEM degree, who didnt get H1B, can apply for OPT extension if employed by a company registered in e-verify. With this, the students get 29 months instead of 12 months.

What is e-verify?
A online system operated by DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and SSA and (Social Security Administration). Employers can register and find the work status and employment eligibility of the newly hired employees. More than 69K employers are registered.

What it means to employees?
For those F-1 students with STEM degree, who didnt get H1B, can be benefitted from this, by applying for OPT extension to 29 months from 12 months.

E-verify is free

Mandatory for employers?
No. But its mandatory for Federal Contract Employers.

How to Register?
Answer the four questions and you have to accept the MOU (Memmorandum of Understanding)

Why some companies have not registered?
- It requires the staff to train for the program
- It requires periodic reporting the DHS
- one of the points in MOU says,

"The Employer understands that participation in E-Verify does not exempt the Employer from the responsibility to complete, retain, and make available for inspection Forms I-9 that relate to its employees, or from other requirements of applicable regulations or laws, except for the following modified requirements applicable by reason of the Employer's participation in E-Verify: (1) identity documents must have photographs, as described in paragraph 5 above; (2) a rebuttable presumption is established that the Employer has not violated section 274A(a)(1)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) with respect to the hiring of any individual if it obtains confirmation of the identity and employment eligibility of the individual in compliance with the terms and conditions of E-Verify ; (3) the Employer must notify the Department of Homeland Security if it continues to employ any employee after receiving a final nonconfirmation, and is subject to a civil money penalty between $500 and $1,000 for each failure to notify the Department of Homeland Security of continued employment following a final nonconfirmation; (4) the Employer is subject to a rebuttable presumption that it has knowingly employed an unauthorized alien in violation of section 274A(a)(1)(A) if the Employer continues to employ any employee after receiving a final nonconfirmation; and (5) no person or entity participating in E-Verify is civilly or criminally liable under any law for any action taken in good faith on information provided through the confirmation system. The Department of Homeland Security reserves the right to conduct Form I-9 compliance inspections during the course of E-Verify, as well as to conduct any other enforcement activity authorized by law."

What other things I need to know about e-verify?
After you join a company registered in e-verify and extend your OPT, you may switch employers, but only those who are registered in e-verify (even if you have valid OPT for 29 months). So once you are in OPT extension, you are obliged to work for only those employers who are registered in e-verify.

Some state governments have mandated e-verify for the following states with some restrictions.
Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, Illinois, Mississippi, Rhode Island and South California

Your comments are welcome...

Info valid as of June 16, 2008

1 comment:

Lalmahamode Abdel said...

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