E-Verify Program Highlights
E-Verify is a free and simple to use Web-based system that electronically verifies
the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.
E-Verify is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
and the Social Security Administration (SSA). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services (USCIS) oversees the program.
E-Verify is a re-branding of its predecessor, the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility
Verification Program, which has been in existence since 1997. The Basic Pilot is
being re-branded to highlight key enhancements in the program, including a new
Photo Screening Tool that helps employers to detect forged or faked immigration
E-Verify works by allowing participating employers to electronically compare
employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper-based employment
eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 449 million
records in SSA's database and more than 80 million records in DHS' immigration
databases. Results are returned within seconds.
See the "E-Verify Statistics" link on the bottom of this page for statistical
information on the E-Verify program.
New Enhancements to the E-Verify System
As of May 5, 2008, the E-Verify system includes naturalization data, which helps
to instantly confirm the citizenship status of naturalized U.S. citizens hired by E-
Verify employers. Naturalized citizens who have not yet updated their records
with the Social Security Administration (SSA) are the largest category of work-
authorized persons who initially face an SSA mismatch in E-Verify.
Additionally, a naturalized citizen who receives a citizenship mismatch with SSA
can call USCIS directly to resolve the issue (in addition to the option of resolving
the mismatch in person at any SSA field office).
For more information about this improvement of E-Verify, please see the link on
enhancements at the bottom of this page.
E-Verify Photo Matching
E-Verify photo matching offers employers assistance in detecting document fraud
in the employment eligibility process.
E-Verify photo matching allows employers to check the photos on their new hires'
Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) or Permanent Resident Cards
("Green Card") against the 14.8 million images stored in DHS immigration
E-Verify photo matching is now available to Designated Agents and Web
Extension of Optional Practical Training Program
Foreign students in F-1 nonimmigrant status who have been enrolled on a full-
time basis for at least one full academic year in a college, university,
conservatory, or seminary certified by Student and Exchange Visitor Program
(SEVP), are eligible for 12 months of optional practical training (OPT) to work for
a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student’s major area of study.
Please see link below to the "International Student and Exchange Visitor
An additional 17-month OPT extension is now available for current OPT F-1
students who have completed a science, technology, engineering, or
mathematics (STEM) degree and accepted employment with employers enrolled
in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify employment
verification program. Please see link below to "Supplemental Questions &
Answers:Extension of Optional Training Program for Qualified Students."
This extension will benefit students with pending H-1B petitions and change of
status requests, as it will enable them to maintain their employment eligibility for
the duration of the H-1B processing period.
How Does E-Verify Affect Me as an Employee?
Federal law requires that all employers verify the identity and employment
eligibility of all new employees (including U.S. citizens) within three days of hire.
Employees are required to complete the Form I-9, and employees must provide
employers with documentation establishing both identity and eligibility to work in
the United States.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security
Administration (SSA) have established an electronic system called E-Verify to
assist employers further in verifying the employment eligibility of all newly-hired
employees. In short, through E-Verify, employers send information about you
from your Form I-9 to SSA and DHS to ensure that you are authorized to work in
the United States and that your name, Social Security Number, date of birth,
citizenship status, and any other non-citizen information you choose to provide
your employer on the Form I-9 match government records. If your employer uses
E-Verify, you as an employee have certain rights and responsibilities.
Know Your Rights – Quick List
Employers must post a notice informing employees of their use of E-Verify
E-Verify must be used for new hires only. It cannot be used to verify the
employment eligibility of current employees.
E-Verify must be used for all new hires regardless of national origin or
citizenship status. It may not be used selectively.
E-Verify must be used only after hire and after completion of the Form I-9.
Employers may not pre-screen applicants through E-Verify.
If an employee receives an information mismatch from their Form I-9 and
SSA and DHS databases, the employer must promptly provide the employee
with information about how to challenge the information mismatch, including
a written notice generated by E-Verify.
If an employee decides to challenge the information mismatch, the
employer must provide the person with a referral letter issued by E-Verify
that contains specific instructions and contact information.
Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because
he/she contests the information mismatch. This includes firing, suspending,
withholding pay or training, or otherwise infringing upon his/her employment.
The employee must be given eight federal government work days to
contact the appropriate federal agency to contest the information mismatch.
If an employee receives a SSA tentative non-confirmation (TNC), they
have the option of visiting an SSA field office to update their record or if the
employee is a naturalized citizen, the employee may choose to call USCIS
directly to resolve the TNC. The phone number can be found on the SSA
Information for Federal Contractors
Federal contractors and subcontractors will be required to begin using the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services’ E-Verify system starting September 8,
2009, to verify their employees’ eligibility to legally work in the United States.
The Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition Regulations
Council amended the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) to reflect this
The new rule implements Executive Order 12989, as amended by President
George W. Bush on June 6, 2008, directing federal agencies to require that
federal contractors agree to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their
employees. The amended Executive Order reinforces the policy, first
announced in 1996, that the federal government does business with companies
that have a legal workforce. This new rule requires federal contractors to agree,
through language inserted into their federal contracts, to use E-Verify to confirm
the employment eligibility of all persons hired during a contract term, and to
confirm the employment eligibility of federal contractors’ current employees who
perform contract services for the federal government within the United States.
Federal contracts awarded and solicitations issued after September 8, 2009 will
include a clause committing government contractors to use E-Verify. The same
clause will also be required in subcontracts over $3,000 for services or
construction. Contracts exempt from this rule include those that are for less than
$100,000 and those that are for commercially available off-the-shelf items.
Companies awarded a contract with the federal government will be required to
enroll in E-Verify within 30 days of the contract award date. They will also need to
begin using the E-Verify system to confirm that all of their new hires and their
employees directly working on federal contracts are authorized to legally work in
the United States.
For more information see the E-Verify Employer Manual for Federal
Contractos or the E-Verify Supplemental Guidance for Federal Contractors,
located at the bottom of this page or to the right in the "Related Links"
section of this page.