What You Need to Know About E-Verify

by Ryan Kohler

Employers are forbidden from “knowingly hiring illegal workers” under the rules of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. To comply with this law, employers must verify the eligibility of employees to work in the United States by gathering and verifying information on the I-9 form. E-Verify can help companies verify this information is valid.

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an online system run by the federal government that allows a company to verify the legal eligibility of employees to work in the United States. The system compares information stated on an I-9 form to data from Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security.

Who Must Use E-Verify

This system is required for use by all federal contractors and subcontractors except for employees hired before November 6, 1986. Use of the E-Verify system is voluntary for all other employers; however, many states are requiring that all employers use this system.

Using the E-Verify System

The E-Verify process can start anytime after the I-9 form is completed; however, it must be finalized no later than three business days after an actual start date.
The employer enters information provided by the prospective employee into the E-Verify. At that time, the system compares that information with data from the Social Security Administration and Homeland Security.

If there is a correct match, the employer will receive an “Employment Authorized” message. Should the information not match, E-Verify will send a “Tentative Non-Confirmation” notification.

The employee can contest the mismatch, and must contact the appropriate agency to resolve the issue within eight federal workdays. If the mismatch is properly resolved, the employer will receive an “Employment Authorized” message. Should the employee fail to resolve the issue, a final non-confirmation is sent and the employee can be terminated or not hired.

E-Verify user manuals are available from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for more information about using the system. The manual covers topics surrounding E-Verify including initial verification, interim cases results, and final resolution of verification. It also presents general guidelines on the process, rules, and responsibilities for employers.

The Benefits of Using E-Verify

E-Verify is useful in preventing the hiring of those not eligible to work in the United States. The system is also easy to access, provides fast results, and provides compliance peace of mind.


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