"E-Verify is an Internet-based system that compares information from an employee's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records to confirm employment eligibility."
According to their website, 98.3% of E-Verify cases are automatically confirmed.
I know that some of our clients utilize this service, but now I have a better idea of what that means and why certain clients had to add it. Here is a summary of changes I learned about as contrasted to a world before E-Verify.
Before: When I, as an HR professional, used to have new hires complete the I-9 (Employment Verification) Form, I would tell them that the Social Security Number was not required.
Now: If you utilize E-Verify, you are required to collect the Social Security Number because you will need it to complete the E-Verify request.
Before: You were not required to make photo copies of the documents presented (unless you did so for all employees).
Now: Photo Matching is a part of the process. If the employee presents one of the following photo documents - I-551 (Permanent Resident Card), Form I-766 (Employment Authorization Document), or U.S. Passport or passport card - then you must keep a copy of that document along with the I-9.
As I understand there are two main goals of E-Verify.
- Helps employers maintain a legal workforce.
- Prevents discrimination against legal employees by preventing the hiring of illegal employees.
Also, if you do participate in E-Verify, you are required to post two different posters in both English and Spanish. They can be on-line if that's where your employees would primarily learn of the program.
When you have completed the Employment Verification process you need to annotate the unique case number on the employee's I-9 Form.
Some final caveats:
- E-Verify cannot be used as a pre-screening tool. It is only to be utilized once the employer/employee relationship has been established through an accepted job offer.
- If you elect to use E-Verify, it must be consistently utilized on all employees.
- It does not replace the I-9. It just helps to verify employees right to work.
I hope this helps some of you make the decision to use the system or simply answer your questions. Happy Verifying!