What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is an online system operated dually by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA), which allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their employees. E-Verify compares information from Form I-9 to government records to confirm that an employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Employers can think of it as an added layer of authentication.
Who must use E-Verify?
E-Verify is voluntary for most employers. However, E-Verify participation is mandatory for certain federal contractors, subcontractors, and employers in certain states.
At least 20 states require the use of E-Verify for at least some public and/or private employers. It’s very important to be aware of state laws that mandate the use of E-Verify. For example, Pennsylvania requires use of E-Verify for all public works contractors and subcontractors.
In addition, employers must enroll in E-Verify in order to employ F-1 students seeking an extension of their optional practical training (OPT) under the STEM-designated degree program.
Can my company use E-Verify with Justworks?
Justworks’ customers are solely responsible for compliance with applicable E-Verify requirements. It is the customer’s obligation to determine whether they are required to participate in E-Verify. You are not obligated to notify Justworks of your participation in E-Verify, and there is no integration between the E-Verify and Justworks at this time.
Form I-9 is the core, the base layer, of establishing work authorization. E-Verify provides an added level of certainty. So how does it work?
First, the employer creates an account at https://www.e-verify.gov/employers. Once enrolled, the employer enters their employees’ information from Form I-9 into E-Verify, which opens a case. The E-Verify system compares the information provided against records available to the DHS and the SSA.
Results are usually immediate, though some cases may require additional action. The most common case results are “Employment Authorized” and “Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC),” although 4 other results are possible. Employers must understand and follow the proper E-Verify procedures. See E-Verify User Manual here.
A USCIS study of the program, using 2009 data, found that 0.3 percent of entries returned an erroneous TNC designation but were ultimately corrected.
Once a company enrolls in E-Verify, they must submit E-Verify requests for each new hire made after enrollment, with certain exceptions (i.e., voluntary E-Verify participants may limit E-Verify use to certain worksites, certain types of federal contractors may choose not to E-Verify all new employees). Improper use of E-Verify or Form I-9 indicating potential fraud, discrimination, or other illegal activities may be referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Department of Justice (DOJ) or other investigative or law enforcement agencies.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.