Author: Melissa A. Silver, XpertHR Legal Editor

November 19, 2013

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director, Alejandro Mayorkas, has announced that E-Verify, the program that allows employers to electronically verify the information provided by new hires on the Form I-9, has been enhanced to help prevent identity fraud.

In particular, E-Verify can now detect and prevent individuals from using fraudulent Social Security Numbers (SSNs) to establish their employment eligibility verification by allowing USCIS to lock an SSN that appears to be fraudulent. Prior to locking an SSN the USCIS will use a combination of algorithms, detection reports and analysis to identify patterns of fraudulent SSN use.

In addition, if an employee provides his or her employer with a locked SSN, the employee will receive a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) result from E-Verify. A TNC result is received if an individual's employment eligibility information does not match the information about the individual in government records. If that occurs, the employee has an opportunity during a limited period of time (eight federal workdays) to resolve the issue by visiting or contacting the appropriate government agency, which in this instance would be the Social Security Administration. The TNC will be converted to an employment authorized result if the employee successfully establishes that his or her identity matches the SSN.

Director Mayorkas stated that "The new enhancement provides yet another significant safeguard for E-Verify users and could assist employees who have had their Social Security [N]umbers stolen or compromised."