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What is E-Verify?

On Behalf of | Feb 6, 2014 | Work Permits |

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is an internet based program that allows employers to verify whether an employee is authorized to work by comparing information from an employee’s I-9 Form with The Department of Homeland Security’s and Social Security Administration’s databases.

Who runs E-Verify?

E Verify is a governmental program run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The Basic Program was actually launched in 1997 and went through several upgrades and changes before being re-designated as “E-Verify” in 2007. The number of employers who are now registered with E-Verify has continued to grow with each year.

How does the program work?

First, the employer gives the new employee an I-9 Form to complete. Once that is returned, the employer uses E-Verify to electronically send the information to DHS and USCIS. The information is checked against the records kept within their databases to verify the employment eligibility of the new employee.

What are the benefits of E-Verify?

Thanks to E-Verify, employers can now know with increased speed and accuracy whether a new employee is eligible to work. Because of E-Verify, employers no longer have to suffer from Social Security mismatch letters and enjoy increased accuracy in wage and tax reporting as well as protection against liability from hiring ineligible employees.

How much does E-Verify cost?

The program is free to use for all employers within all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico.

Do employers have to use E-Verify?

E-Verify is only mandatory when made so by an executive order. It must be used in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia. In New Jersey, the use of E-Verify is up to the discretion of the employer.

Does E-Verify certify immigration status?

No. E-Verify only informs an employer as to the employee’s work authorization; it does not provide immigration status. An employer will receive one of the following messages: (1) Employment Authorized; (2) SSA Tentative Non-Confirmation; (3) DHS Verification in Process, or (4) DHS Tentative Non-Confirmation.

What can an employer/employee do if he or she receives an SSA Tentative Non-Confirmation response?

First, the employer should write a referral letter to the employee. Within eight federal business days of that letter, the employee should go to a Social Security Administration office to resolve the discrepancy with the letter in hand. Ten days after the date of the employer’s referral letter, the employer can use E-Verify to receive final confirmation.

What can an employer/employee do if he or she receives a DHS Tentative Non-Confirmation response?

Only an employee may contest such a response. The employee will have eight federal work days to contact DHS to resolve the issue. From there, DHS will send their decision to the employer.

How long does it take for an employer to receive confirmation on work eligibility?

Usually between three to five seconds after submission.

What do I do if the employee only has a single name?

If an employee only has a single name, then put “unknown” in place of the first name and put the employee’s name in the last name block.

Can an employer use E-Verify without first hiring an employee?

No. An employer must first offer a position and the offer must be accepted before E-Verify may be used.

How can an employer register with E-Verify?

An employer can go to http://e-verify.uscis.gov/enroll, which includes detailed instructions on how to complete the process. Afterwards, it is important to note that employers must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the registration to be complete.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the “Subscribe To This Blog’s Feed” button on the right. It is important to understand that the above is only general information. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the “Case Evaluation” box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.