Official Website of the United States Department of Homeland Security

Each site that will perform the employment verification queries must go through the registration process and sign an individual MOU.

Yes, you can choose which sites to enroll. However, remember that each site that has signed an MOU must verify the status of all new hires for that site. A new MOU is required only for a new site performing verification queries. However, if a central location, which is already registered, does the verification queries, then the company would only need to amend the number of hiring sites.

As a participant in E-Verify, employers are required to verify all newly hired employees, both U.S. citizens and non-citizens. Employers may not verify selectively, and must verify all new hires while participating in the program. The program may not be used to prescreen applicants for employment, go back and check employees hired before the company signed the MOU, or re-verify employees who have temporary work authorization.

Employees who do not yet have a Social Security Number may not have their information run through E-Verify. If you are an employer with such an employee, you should complete the Form I-9 process with him/her and wait to run an E-Verify query on that individual until you have received his/her Social Security Number. You should note on the Form I-9 why you did not run an E-Verify query yet. Your employee should get his/her number to you quickly, and then you may run a query on that individual. In the mean time, you will have completed the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility process with your employee and verified his/her work authorization, so your employee will be allowed to work temporarily without a Social Security Number.

Using an automated system, the program involves verification checks of SSA and DHS databases. The E-Verify MOU, User Manual and Tutorial contain instructions and other related materials on E-Verify procedures and requirements. Once the user has completed the tutorial, he or she may begin using the system to verify the employment eligibility of all newly hired employees.

The earliest the employer may initiate a query is after an an individual accepts an offer of employment and after the employee and employer complete the Form I-9. The employer must initiate the query no later than the end of three business days after the new hire's actual start date.

An employer may initiate the query before a new hire's actual start date; however, it may not pre-screen applicants and may not delay training or an actual start date based upon a tentative non-confirmation or a delay in the receipt of a confirmation of employment authorization. An employee should not face any adverse employment consequences based upon an employer's use of E-Verify unless a query results in a final non-confirmation. In addition, an employer cannot use an employment authorization response to speed up an employee's start date. This would be unfair treatment to use E-Verify results to accelerate employment for this employee compared to another who may have received a tentative non-confirmation.

For example, Company X always assigns a start-date to new employees that is two weeks after the employee has completed an approved drug test. After the employee has accepted a job with Company X and after the employee and Company X completes the Form I-9, the company can initiate the E-Verify query. However, the company cannot speed up or delay the employee's start date based upon the results of the query (unless the program issues a final non-confirmation, in which case the employee should not be further employed).

Employers must verify employees in a non-discriminatory manner and may not schedule the timing of queries based upon the new hire's national origin, citizenship status, race, or other characteristic that is prohibited by U.S. law.

After hiring a new employee and completing the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9), required for all new hires (regardless of E-Verify participation), the employer or agent must submit a query that includes information from sections 1 and 2 of the Form I-9, including:

  • Employee's name and date of birth,
  • Social Security Number (SSN),
  • Citizenship status he or she attests to,
  • A number or I-94 number, if applicable,
  • Type of document provided on the Form I-9 to establish work authorization status, and
  • Proof of identity, and its expiration date, if applicable.

Response to the initial query is sent within seconds of submitting the query. Documents presented for Form I-9 identification only purposes (documents from "List B") to E-Verify employers must have a photograph.

An employer has the option to designate an employee as a Corporate Administrator. A Corporate Administrator is someone who has management oversight authority of the employer's hiring sites that participate in the program but generally does not perform employment eligibility verification queries. The Corporate Administrator role enables oversight of all the company sites participating in E-Verify. To become a Corporate Administrator, an individual only needs to register and does not need to sign an MOU. Once registered, this individual will be able to register company sites, add and delete users at company sites, and view reports generated by company sites. The Corporate Administrator, however, does not submit queries for verification.

You can find more information about registering for E-Verify on the E-Verify Enrollment page.. At the end of the registration process, you will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that provides the terms of agreement between you the employer, the SSA, and USCIS. An employee who has signatory authority for the employer can sign the MOU.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
01/16/2014

Yes, one site may verify new hires at all sites. When registering, the individual at the site that will be verifying new hires should select "multiple site registration" and give the number of sites per states it will be verifying.

Yes, you may choose to leave E-Verify at any time.

No. E-Verify verifies a new hire's employment eligibility, not his or her immigration status.

E-Verify is currently the best means available for employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. E-Verify virtually eliminates Social Security mismatch letters, improves the accuracy of wage and tax reporting, protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers, and helps U.S. employers maintain a legal workforce.

As of December 2006, over 12,000 employers representing over 45,000 sites are participating in E-Verify.

  • Providing as much information as possible may increase the likelihood that an employee will be verified instantly. This includes entering information in optional fields such as the visa number.
  • The best time to get an employee’s visa number is when completing the Form I-9. If the employee presents a foreign passport and Form I-94 as a List A document, the passport may also contain a U.S. visa label with his or her visa number. If you find a U.S. visa label, make a note of the visa number when filling out the Form I-9 and then enter this in the employee information page in E-Verify. Remember, you cannot ask your employee to provide you a specific document at any time during the Form I-9 process, except for List B documents which, for E-Verify, must contain a photo.
  • You should also ensure that you entered the employee’s information accurately. If you do not receive an immediate response, E-Verify will provide a page that allows you to review the information you entered and correct any errors. Please pay particular attention to dates, particularly the date of birth. Foreign passports often list the date of birth as day/month/year (e.g., 9 June 2008 = 09/06/2008). E-Verify uses a month/day/year format. (e.g., June 9, 2008 = 06/09/2008)

 

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
06/24/2008

No. E-Verify is voluntary for all employers with very limited exceptions. (Some Federal government employers and violators of certain immigration laws may be ordered to participate).

The earliest the employer may initiate a query is after an individual accepts an offer of employment and after the employee and employer complete the Form I-9. The employer must initiate the query no later than the end of three business days after the new hire’s actual start date.

Although an employer may initiate the query before a new hire’s actual start date, it may not pre-screen applicants and may not delay training or an actual start date based upon a tentative non-confirmation or a delay in the receipt of a confirmation of employment authorization. In short, an employee should not face any adverse employment consequences based upon an employer’s use of E-Verify unless a query results in a final nonconfirmation.

For this reason, if the query returns an employment authorization response, an employer cannot speed up the employee’s agreed upon start-date, as that would be disparate treatment based upon E-Verify results of this employee compared to another who may have received a tentative non-confirmation. For example, Company X always assigns a start-date to new employees that are two weeks after the employee has submitted an approved drug test. After the employee has accepted a job with Company X, and after the employee and Company X complete the Form I-9, the company can initiate the E-Verify query. However, the company cannot speed up or delay the employee’s start-date based upon the results of the query (unless the program issues a final non-confirmation, in which case the employee should not be further employed).

Employers must verify employees in a non-discriminatory manner, and may not schedule the timing of queries based upon the new hire’s national origin, citizenship status, race, or other prohibited characteristic.

An E-Verify Third Party Agent is a liaison between E-Verify and employers wishing to participate, but who choose to outsource submission of employment eligibility verification queries for newly hired employees. E-Verify Third Party Agents conduct the verification process for other employers/clients. An E-Verify Third Party Agent must register on-line and sign an MOU with SSA and USCIS. Once the MOU is approved, the E-Verify Third Party Agent can then begin registering employers/clients who have designated it to perform the company's verification services. Each employer/client will also be required to sign an MOU and will have a unique E-Verify client number.

No. But there is a “Web Services” method. This is a real-time method, which requires a company to develop software that interfaces with USCIS to perform employment eligibility verification of newly hired employees. Your company’s software will extract data from your existing system or an electronic Form I-9 and transmit the information to government databases. If you choose this option, a copy of the Employer Web Services Interface Control Document (ICD) will be sent to you. The ICD contains the information you need to develop and test your software interface.

For more information and help with design specifications, please contact USCIS at 1-800-741-5023.

Last Reviewed/Updated: 
08/21/2009

An employer who verifies work authorization under E-Verify has established a rebuttable presumption that it has not knowingly hired an unauthorized alien. Participation in the program does not provide a “safe harbor” from worksite enforcement, however.