1.2 E-Verify: The Web-Based Verification Companion to Form I-9

Since verification of the employment authorization and identity of new hires became law in 1986, Form I-9 has been the foundation of the verification process. To improve the accuracy and integrity of this process, USCIS operates an electronic employment confirmation system called E-Verify.

E-Verify is a system that provides access to federal databases to help employers confirm the employment authorization of new hires. E-Verify is free and can be used by employers in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Employers who participate in E-Verify must complete Form I-9 for each newly hired employee in the United States. E-Verify employers may accept any document or combination of documents on Form I-9, but if the employee chooses to present a List B and C combination, the List B (identity only) document must have a photograph.

After completing a Form I-9 for your new employee, create a case in E-Verify that includes information from Sections 1 and 2 of Form I-9. After creating the case, you will receive a response from E-Verify regarding the employment authorization of the employee. In some cases, E-Verify will provide a response indicating a tentative nonconfirmation of the employee’s employment authorization. This does not necessarily mean that the employee is unauthorized to work in the United States. Rather, it means that E-Verify is unable to immediately confirm the employee’s authorization to work. In the case of a tentative nonconfirmation, you must notify the employee, and an employee who wishes to contest a tentative nonconfirmation result should contact the appropriate agency (DHS or the Social Security Administration) within the prescribed time periods.

You must also follow certain procedures when using E-Verify that were designed to protect employees from unfair employment actions. You must use E-Verify for all new hires, both U .S. citizens and noncitizens, and may not use the system selectively. You may not use E-Verify to prescreen applicants for employment, check employees hired before the company became a participant in E-Verify (except contractors with a federal contract that requires use of E-Verify), or reverify employees who have temporary employment authorization. You may not terminate or take other adverse action against an employee based on a tentative nonconfirmation.

E-Verify strengthens the Form I-9 employment eligibility verification process that all employers, by law, must follow. By adding E-Verify to the existing Form I-9 process, employers can benefit from knowing that it has taken an additional constructive step toward maintaining a legal workforce.

You can enroll in E-Verify at uscis.gov/e-verify, which provides instructions for completing the enrollment process. For more information, contact E-Verify at 888-464-4218, or visit the website listed above.

Federal Contractors

On Nov. 14, 2008, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations Council issued a final rule amending the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (FAR case 2007-013, Employment Eligibility Verification). This regulation was originally scheduled to be effective on Jan. 15, 2009, but the effective date was delayed until Sept. 8, 2009. The regulation requires contractors with a federal contract that contains a FAR E-Verify clause to use E-Verify for their new hires and all employees (existing and new) assigned to the contract. Federal contracts issued on or after Sept. 8, 2009, as well as older contracts that have been modified may contain the FAR E-Verify clause.

Federal contractors who have a federal contract that contains the FAR E-Verify clause must follow special rules when completing and updating Form I-9. For more in- formation, please see the E-Verify Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors available at uscis.gov/e-verify.


Last Reviewed/Updated