In the United States, it is illegal to knowingly hire or employ someone who does not have status to work in this country. For individuals, a properly completed form I-9 is essential for proving authorization for employment. For business owners, the I-9 proves compliance with the law. An Internet-based system called E-Verify speeds this process for both applicant and employer.
What is E-Verify?
In a continuing effort to address the issue of illegal immigration, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) developed the E-Verify system to provide a way for employers to verify information provided by newly hired employees.
According to USCIS, more than 400,000 employers use the E-Verify program to compare information provided on the I-9 form with information maintained by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).
U.S. employers are required to complete an I-9 for each new hire. If information provided to E-Verify does not match governmental records, the program returns a tentative non-conformation (TNC). Reasons for a TNC may include:
- An error was made by the employee or employer in providing or using the information.
- A change occurred in the immigration or citizenship status of the applicant.
- Documentation numbers provided via passport, drivers license, Social Security number or identification card could not be verified.
Employees can contest a TNC. If not contested, the TNC becomes final, and the employer must discharge the employee for lack of compliance. If contested, the employee must follow up with the DHS to resolve the issue within eight days or be considered a DNS No-Show, a designation that leads to employment dismissal along with a final DHS non-confirmation.
Compliance with federal law is complicated and vital. If you have questions about E-Verify or your I-9, speak with experienced legal counsel.