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Table of Contents

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Is your organization using the E-Verify program? If not, you should be. Read further to learn what E-Verify is and why it may be beneficial for your organization.

What Is E-Verify?

E-Verify is a voluntary program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) to strengthen immigration laws, initiating an employment verification program for employers. USCIS operates the voluntary program, but it is mandatory for employers with federal contracts and subcontractors.

The E-Verify program is free and may be accessed via this website. The site allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees and/or employees assigned to a federal contract.

Why Is E-Verify Helpful for Human Resources?

No matter the organization’s size, every U.S. employee must complete and submit an I-9 Form. There are several advantages for employers using E-Verify. It streamlines the verification process and compares an employee’s I-9 information with the data found in the SSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

No-Match Letters

Social Security no-match letters are notifications from the SSA indicating an employee’s W-2 form does not match SSA’s records. By using E-Verify, employers can quickly verify employment eligibility, thus reducing the likelihood of receiving a no-match notification.

Legal Presumption

Employers who utilize E-Verify are not exempt from worksite enforcement. However, a legal presumption that the employer did not knowingly hire an unauthorized employee is implied.

Process Improvement

E-Verify simplifies the process of employment verification by removing complex, unnecessary steps such as completing the verification process manually. This reduces human error processing time.

Important E-Verify Information for Employers

The quintessential items employers should be aware of when completing an E-Verify request are the resources available and who is responsible for administering the verification process. Below are a few points that help understand the E-Verify process.

Employee Privacy

E-Verify requires organizations to collect personal identifiable information (PII) about their employees. It is the responsibility of the organization to safeguard its employees’ privacy as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Failure to protect such information may result in identity theft or fraud, as well as hefty fines.

Program Administrators

Organizations must assign a program administrator. This individual is responsible for the general administration of the organization’s E-Verify account (e.g. providing access and entering data).

Employment Authorized

When verifying cases, you will likely encounter an Employment Authorized result, which means “that the information you entered matches the records found with SSA and/or DHS. This confirms that the employee is eligible for employment. Cases that are categorized as Employment Authorized are automatically closed.

Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)

The opposite of Employment Authorized is Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), which means that the information entered into E-Verify does not match records available to SSA and/or DHS. Employers must notify the employee within 10 federal government working days after receiving a TNC result.

Resources

The E-Verify website is a great resource where you can access webinars, stay updated on current E-Verify activities, sign up for notifications and enroll in the program. USCIS suggests that employers bookmark the website for easy access.

Webinars

Webinars are provided free of a charge and are eligible for professional development credits (PDC) through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI). The topics range from how to enroll in the program to employee rights.

How to E-Verify an Employee

Verifying an employee’s work authorization is quite simple. Below are the basic steps required to complete this process.

Step 1: I-9 Verification

All employees must complete an I-9 form. This form is used to document employees who are authorized to work in the U.S. For more information on how to complete the I-9 form, please refer to the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration instructional packet.

Employees must complete Section 1 of the form no later than the first day of employment and should not be completed prior. Be sure to review the form to ensure Section 1 has been fully completed. Section 2 of the form must be completed within three business days of hire by your organization’s designated authorized representative.

Step 2: Create a Case

Employers are required to create an E-Verify case no later than three business days after the date of hire. To create a case, you need to enter the information provided on the I-9 Form into the E-Verify website. The steps on how to create a case are below.

Step 3: View Case Results

Once you create your case and enter the information provided on the I-9 form, the data will be compared to the SSA and the DHS databases. The results are generally immediate. Here are a few potential outcomes.

  • Employment Authorized: Data entered matches those of SSA and DHS and the employee is authorized to work.
  • Verification in Process: Further verification is required and the case has been referred to the DHS.
  • Tentative Nonconfirmation: The information provided does not match the SSA and DHS databases and additional action is required. You must notify the employee of these results.
  • Case in Continuance: The employee has made contact with both agencies (SSA and DHS), but additional information is needed.
  • Close Case and Resubmit: Both agencies require that the case be closed and a new case be created.
  • Final Non-confirmation: E-Verify is unable to confirm employment eligibility. The employee has made contact with both SSA and DHS and no additional action is needed by the employee.

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Questions You’ve Asked Us About E-Verify

No, a social security number is required to use the E-Verify portal.

No, employers should not rely on the E-Verify process to conduct employee background checks.

The employer will receive a Tentative Nonconfirmation notice which is to be shared with the employee, who can then contest the results.

The data entered on the I-9 form is required for E-Verify.

Wendy is an HR professional with over 10 years of HR experience in education and health care, both in the private and non-profit sector. She is the owner of KHRServices, a full service HR management agency. She is also SHRM and HRCI certified, serves as a HRCI Ambassador, and voted 2021 Most Inclusive HR Influencer.

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