What is E-Verify?
E-Verify, a system authorized in 1996 by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, has recently come under more attention as the government encourages to make use of such available tools to make sure new hires are eligible to legally obtain employment in the United States. E-Verify is a web-based system run by the federal government. More specifically, E-Verify is administered by both the Social Security Administration (SSA) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
As of now, employer participation with E-Verify is largely voluntary. Participation is only mandatory in a few cases such as employers with federal contractors or subcontracts that have the Federal Acquisition Regulation E-Verify Clause or if employers are in a state that has legislation mandating participation in the program or if it is a condition of obtaining a business license. E-Verify use may also be required due to a court ruling. There has been talk, however, that the current presidential administration may make employer participation in programs such as E-Verify mandatory.
What Exactly is E-Verify?
U.S. law requires employers to only employ individuals who may legally work in the U.S. This means that employees must be U.S. citizens or foreign citizens with the necessary authorization to legally obtain employment in the country. The E-Verify system is designed to help employers make sure that they are only employing people who are legally able to obtain employment in the U.S. In order to do this, employers use E-Verify to verify the identity and employment eligibility of new hires.
The E-Verify system matches information provided on Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to records available to the SSA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On Form I-9, an employee must provide proof of identity and work authorization. The employee must also attest to citizenship status. An employer will electronically submit this information to the federal government through E-Verify. The information will be matched against the federal government database and the employer should quickly, within seconds, receive a response that either confirms the employee’s identity and employment eligibility or alerts the employer that the employee will need to take action to clear up any discrepancy.
If the system is not able to confirm an employee’s employment eligibility, he or she will likely meet with the employer. The employer will provide the employee with the Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) Notice. If the employee does not contest the notice, he or she will not be able to remain employed. If the employee does choose to contest the notice, the employer will provide a Referral Letter containing instructions for how to proceed. The employee will have to contact the appropriate government agency and visit the SSA or call DHS. The employee has eight government work days to contact the appropriate government agency. During this time period, the employer must allow the employee to continue working and cannot take adverse employment actions against the employee based on the E-Verify results.
Trusted Immigration Attorney
There is a lot changing in the immigration landscape. Programs like E-Verify are growing as the government looks to curb those working in the U.S. illegally as much as possible. If you are an employer, an employee, or a job-seeker who has any questions about what programs like E-Verify mean for you, contact Talamantes Immigration Law Firm today.
Posted in: Immigration Law