Today, E-Verify announced that the photo matching tool will be made available for Designated Agents in late 2009. The photo matching process, also known as the photo screening tool, is an automated step in the E-Verify system which prompts you to compare an employee’s DHS-issued photo document (presented during the I-9 process) with a photo displayed in E-Verify. At present, the photo screening tool will only “activate” when an employee presents a recent version of a permanent resident card (I-551) or employment authorization document (EAD) as proof of employment authorization. According to insider sources, E-Verify is looking to add photos from US passports and state driver’s licenses, but no timeline has been announced as of yet.
DHS formally launched the photo screening tool in September 2007, but has only made it available for organizations performing E-Verify checks of their own employees. Today’s announcement will affect organizations participating as a Designated Agent (DA), a role defined for companies who conduct E-Verify queries on behalf of other employers or clients. E-Verify DAs can view the official announcement on the home screen in their E-Verify account (reproduced below). They will also need to take a refresher tutorial and mastery test regarding the photo tool before resuming their use of E-Verify. More information should be forthcoming at the end of the month. Stay tuned!
Important Information for E-Verify Users
You must complete the tutorial before accessing this application. Please click the Tutorial link, located at the top-right of this page, to begin the tutorial.
10/02/2009 – Announcing Photo Matching Tool for Designated Agents!
The photo matching tool will be added to the verification process for Designated Agents in late 2009. This enhancement will help secure an authorized workforce for your clients simply by ensuring that the documents provided by their employees are valid. It works by asking the E-Verify User to match the photo on the employee’s Form I-9 document with the photo that displays in E-Verify. In order to make the photo comparison, E-Verify Users will need to have access to a copy of the employee’s document (Forms I-551 or I-766 only). Check back in this message area for more detailed information about photo matching in late October.