E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by Department of Homeland Security in partnership with the Social Security Administration, that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. E-Verify works by electronically comparing the information on an employee’s Form I-9 with SSA and DHS records to verify the identity and employment eligibility of each newly hired employee. It cannot be used for prospective employees or for existing employees.
Employers who use E-Verify must still complete the Form I-9 for new employees, and must submit the information within three days of the employee's hire date. Once submitted, most employers receive verification within 24 hours. If a "tentative nonconfirmation" is received, an employee must follow up with either the DHS or the SSA to resolve the discrepancy. The employee must remain employed until either the discrepancy is resolved, or a "final nonconfirmation" is received.
For most employers, the use of E-Verify is voluntary and limited to determining the employment eligibility of new hires only. However, federal contractors and subcontractors are required to use E-Verify as of September 8, 2009. Furthermore, existing employees who will be working on federal contracts must have verification from E-Verify, in addition to new hires. Some states are requiring the use of E-Verify for all employers, and some are requiring it only for employers with state contracts.
Using E-Verify affords an employer with the rebuttable presumption that the Employer has not violated immigration laws with respect to the hiring of any individual if it obtains confirmation of the identity and employment eligibility of the individual in compliance with the terms and conditions of E-Verify. However, this does not mean that an E-Verify employer will be exempt from an I-9 audit or other inspection. To the contrary, the USCIS and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) have a Memorandum of Agreement that the USCIS will refer cases to ICE for suspected employer and/or employee misuse, abuse, and fraud.