1.0 Introduction

Welcome to the E-Verify Quick Reference Guide for Airport Operators. This guide provides an overview of the E-Verify process that Airport Operators must follow when using E-Verify to help determine the eligibility of applicants seeking unescorted access to any Security Identification Display Area (SIDA) of an airport. Any Airport Operators who enroll in E-Verify must follow the applicable requirements set forth in this Quick Reference Guide, the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or E-Verify Terms of Service, the E-Verify User Manual for Employers and other program guidance. 

Section 3405(d) of the Federal Aviation Administration Extension, Safety and Security Act of 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-190 (July 15, 2016), directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to authorize Airport Operators to have direct access to E-Verify to determine the eligibility of individuals seeking unescorted access to any SIDA of an airport.

This law establishes a new use of E-Verify, as opposed to its traditional use by employers to confirm identity and employment eligibility for employment. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has developed policies and processes for E-Verify participation and use by Airport Operators that differ in some respects from employer requirements for E-Verify participation and use. Airport Operators should consult the E-Verify MOU or E-Verify Terms of Service, this Quick Reference Guide and other E-Verify program guidance to fully understand those differences.

With respect to E-Verify participation and use, the term “Airport Operator” has the same meaning found in 49 C.F.R. § 1540.5. Under that regulation, an Airport Operator is a person who operates an airport serving an aircraft operator or a foreign air carrier required to have a security program under part 1544 or 1546 of Chapter XII, Subtitle B of Title 49 of the code of federal regulations.  Should the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or any agency later amend that regulation, this Quick Reference Guide will apply to any Airport Operator covered by or defined in the amended regulation.

E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify works by electronically comparing information entered into E-Verify with records available to SSA and/or DHS to confirm an individual’s identity and employment eligibility. E-Verify was created to assist employers in verifying the identity and employment eligibility of their employees.  Airport Operators, unlike other employers, are permitted to use E–Verify for the purpose of determining the eligibility of individuals seeking unescorted access to any SIDA of an airport. This means that Airport Operators are permitted to enroll in and use E-Verify to confirm  the identity and employment eligibility of applicants for unescorted access to a SIDA of an airport, even if those applicants may not be the Airport Operator’s own employees.

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