E-Verify: What It Means for Employers

As a business owner, it is important to implement effective HR measures to ensure legal employment practices. E-Verify offers businesses a sense of assurance in the individuals they hire. Read further to learn more about E-Verify, how to use it effectively and its potential benefits.


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What is E-Verify and what is it used for?

E-Verify is an online system created and operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Employers use E-Verify to determine their employees’ United States citizenship or right to work for a company in the United States. This ensures that employers uphold employment laws and refrain from receiving legal repercussions or loss of business. 


How to use E-Verify for your business

The E-Verify website provides step-by-step instructions to help businesses complete employment verification. Here is how to use E-Verify for your business, according to e-verify.gov:


1. Enroll in E-Verify

Register your company with the program to move forward with the actual investigative process to determine your employees’ legitimacy. The E-Verify website’s directions will redirect you to the actual enrollment website. Then you will need to decide whether you want to have direct access to the system, or if you’d rather work with an E-Verify agent or provide access to your HR team. You will then need to complete further registration procedures before you’re cleared for enrollment.


2. Enter form I-9 details

E-Verify says that employers should have a completed I-9 form from a newly hired employee to start the process. Create a case and input certain details from the form into the system for comparisons to social security and other verifiable sources. E-Verify also states that businesses should complete verification of employment eligibility no later than three business days after the start date for a new hire.


3. Receive case results

E-Verify should provide you with results within a few seconds of submitting your case. But, if the system states that it needs more information, there are additional ways to verify a candidate’s right to work in the United States.


4. Use alternative methods available

In addition to form I-9, E-Verify can also use photo-matching to ensure that a candidate’s documents match their appearance, you can do this by asking for copies of the following documents if you haven’t already done so:

  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
  • U.S. Passport
  • Passport Card


Benefits of using E-Verify in your business

Review a few benefits of using E-Verify in your business according to e-verify.gov to determine whether you want to incorporate it into your hiring procedures:

  • Ensures compliance with laws and regulations: Ensure new hires have a right to work in the United States. If undocumented, there could be legal repercussions to your business.
  • Provides employment to U.S. citizens and eligible individuals: Ensure you hire people who are eligible for employment, whether from other countries or the U.S.
  • Promotes accurate tax reporting: You will enter company details and verify employees’ social security numbers.


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Frequently asked questions about E-Verify

Is E-Verify a requirement?

According to e-verify.gov, E-Verify is a requirement in certain states. Be sure to check your state government website for changing policies and procedures surrounding the topic.


What documents are required for E-verify?

Form I-9 is a mandatory document for completing the employment verification. As mentioned, if the system cannot verify eligibility using the I-9 form, employers can use copies of:

  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766)
  • U.S. Passport
  • Passport Card


Is a background check the same as E-Verify?

No, a background check isn’t the same as E-Verify. Whereas E-Verify solely seeks to determine a worker’s citizenship or working eligibility within the United States, background checks seek to determine multiple factors including criminal backgrounds, credit history, previous work experience, education history and employment eligibility.


What if an employee fails E-Verify?

If an employee fails E-Verify, e-verify.gov says to give E-Verify professionals at least 48 hours to review additional documents that could verify their eligibility. If they still cannot find evidence of eligibility, they will issue a TNC, known as a Tentative Nonconfirmation result. From here, you should notify the candidate/new employee to give them time to find the right documents if available. e-verify.gov advises employers to keep them employed or in consideration for employment until the E-Verify professionals issue a Final Nonconfirmation of their eligibility.

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