E-Verify: The Basics

Keep these fundamental rules of the E-Verify program in mind to maintain compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding and federal employment law:

1. You may not use E-Verify to prescreen applicants for employment. The applicant must have been offered the job, accepted the position and completed the I-9 form prior to submission to E-Verify.

2. You may not selectively verify new hires. You must verify every new employee.

3. You may not use E-Verify to discriminate against any job applicant or employee on the basis of his or her national origin, citizenship, or immigration status.

4. Newly-hired employees must complete an Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9 before you can submit the employee to us for verification.

5. Form I-9 requirements remain the same as before your enrollment in E-Verify, with the exception that all “List B” identity documents must bear a photograph, and the employee must provide his or her Social Security number on the form. Employees who do not have a Social Security number must obtain one. This will delay creating a case in E-Verify until the employee is issued his or her Social Security number. Be sure to document the reason for this delay on the employee’s I-9 form.

6. You may not require a new hire to present a specific document for I-9 or E-Verify purposes except for requiring that a “List B” identity document bear a photograph.

7. You may not use E-Verify to reverify the employment eligibility of an employee once that employee has been verified in E-Verify.

8. You must notify employees of a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) and provide them the opportunity to contest the TNC.

9. You may not ask the employee to obtain a printout or other written verification from either SSA or DHS.

10. Employees must be allowed to continue to work without penalty during the verification process.

For Federal Contractors:

1. Federal contractors may only use E-Verify for existing employees under limited circumstances.

2. When deciding how to, and whether, to verify your existing employees there are special discrimination considerations.

3. You are required to initiate a verification of existing employees within a specified period of time. If a verification query is not initiated in a timely manner, you must note the reason for the delay and attach it to Form I-9.

4. You may not verify employees selectively, and must follow E-Verify procedures for all newly-hired employees and all existing employees assigned to a Federal contract while your company is participating in the program.

For more information, review the Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors.