Learn about E-Verify
Now is the ideal time to ensure that employers and employees understand the E-Verify and the federal employment eligibility verification processes. E-Verify is a fast, free, and easy to use internet-based system run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that allows employers to verify the eligibility of their newly hired employees to legally work in the United States.
All United States employers are already required to complete and retain a Form I-9 – the “Employment Eligibility Verification” form – for each person they hire in the United States. That includes citizens and non-citizens.
E-Verify takes the Form I-9 process one step further. It compares information provided on Form I-9 to information in government records. In most cases, E-Verify tells the employer in just seconds if an employee is eligible to work in the United States. E-Verify isn’t a database, but simply a secure way for employers to check new employee’s employment eligibility information against existing records in the Social Security Administration, DHS and the State Department – depending upon which form of identification the employee presents, and the employee’s citizenship or immigration status.
To use E-Verify, an employer must first enroll online at www.dhs.gov/E-Verify. Employers complete a basic registration process, then take a tutorial and pass a test before being granted access to use the system. E-Verify users rate the program as fast and easy to use, according to a recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey. Users also give E-Verify’s customer service very high scores.
Once enrolled, there are rules that must be followed. For example, E-Verify cannot be used by employers in a discriminatory way, such as only checking some employees but not others. Employers may not use E-Verify to prescreen job applicants. Also, employers may not take any adverse action against an employee, including firing or delaying the employee’s start date, who is in the process of resolving an initial mismatch.
DHS conducts free, live webinars about E-Verify. The 90-minute webinars include a demonstration of E-Verify and an opportunity to ask questions. By the end of the webinar, employers will have a good understanding of E-Verify. DHS also offers Form I-9 webinars.
E-Verify is currently used by nearly 300,000 employers at over 950,000 worksites. E-Verify is growing rapidly, with more than 1,200 new businesses enrolling each week. For most employers, using E-Verify is voluntary and limited to verifying new employees only. Since September 2009, E-Verify is mandatory for many federal contractors.
Visit the E-Verify web pages for more information about E-Verify. Follow E-Verify and Form I-9 on Twitter @USCIS.