Overview: Employers can ensure that they have an authorized workforce by participating in E-Verify, which allows employers to electronically verify the information provided by new employees on the Form I-9. E-Verify creates a presumption (although it can be refuted) that the employer has not knowingly hired an unauthorized foreign national. It is a voluntary program except where required by state law or by the federal contractor rule.
The use of E-Verify is on the rise. In fact due to the sheer volume of employers using E-Verify, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a forum for its users where they can submit and discuss ideas which the USCIS will evaluate in order to make any improvements to E-Verify.
Further, the USCIS continually enhances the E-Verify system. For example, the USCIS released revised Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for E-Verify browser users and new MOUs for users accessing E-Verify through web services, which are customized to each type of E-Verify access method and are simpler to read and understand. Further, it instituted security measures to help prevent identity fraud during the E-Verify process and streamlined the E-Verify process by combining and replacing the tentative nonconfirmation notice and referral into one document entitled a further action notice.
Trends: Employers are increasingly using E-Verify to assist them with the verification process. In fact, the USCIS reported that more than 16.4 million cases were run in FY 2016.
Author: Melissa A. Silver, JD, Legal Editor
Updated to include notice requirements for employers regarding a federal agency inspection, effective June 6, 2019.
Updated to include information on a case involving the medical marijuana law.
As long as the shutdown continues, employers cannot enroll in E-Verify, create new cases, take actions on cases and more. Federal agencies have implemented policies intended to minimize the burden on employers.
Updated to reflect expansion of criminal records expungement law, effective December 27, 2018.
Updated to reflect Clean Slate Law involving access to criminal records, effective December 25, 2018.
Updated to reflect E-Verify considerations if employees are unionized.
Updated to reflect amendments regarding certificates of relief for criminal convictions, effective December 1, 2018.
Updated to include information on a court decision regarding the state immigration worksite enforcement law.
Updated to reflect Texas E-Verify laws for certain contractors, effective September 1, 2017.
Guidance for HR on the use of E-Verify to ensure employers have authorized workforces. Support and advice for employers on using the E-Verify program.