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Using E-Verify

Prior to using the E-Verify system to check a prospective employees employment eligibility, an employer must enroll in E-Verify.

Once enrolled, using E-Verify to verify the employment eligibility of employees is a three-step process.

1. Create a Case

Before an employer can create a case in E-Verify, both the employer and employee must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9). All U.S. employers, regardless of whether they participate in E-Verify must complete Form I-9 no later than 3 business days after the employee begins work for pay. Information about the employee from Form I-9 then serves as the foundation for an E-Verify case, which must be created also no later than 3 business days after the employee begins work for pay.

E-Verify guides the employer through a series of questions, which follow Form I-9, beginning with the employee's citizenship attestation, document type(s), then biographical information including name, date of birth, Social Security number and Alien or I-94 number (if a noncitizen). In some cases, the document number and expiration date are also required.

If E-Verify cannot initially match the information, the employer will be prompted to review and correct the information if necessary. Otherwise, E-Verify will display an initial response within three to five seconds.

2. Get Results

In most cases, E-Verify will instantly verify the employee's work authorization. If E-Verify returns an "Employment Authorized" response, the employer can continue to the last step in the verification process and close the case

Sometimes, E-Verify cannot immediately confirm the employee's work authorization and may require the employer or the employee to take action. In these cases, the employer will see one of the following responses on the employee's verification results screen: 

  • DHS Verification in Process: Sometimes, E-Verify's automated search of government records cannot immediately verify employment authorization, and a manual search is required. In this case, E-Verify will return a "DHS Verification in Process" response. The employer must check E-Verify until the employee's case is updated, which usually happens within 24 hours, though it may take as long as three business days. When the employee's case is updated, E-Verify will return either an "Employment Authorized" or "Tentative Nonconfirmation" response.
  • Tentative Nonconfirmation: If the employee information does not match government records, the employer will see a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) response. Visit the "Tentative Nonconfirmation" page in this section for more information.

To prevent unnecessary TNCs, the employer must carefully review all entered information for accuracy. Should the employer have made a typographical error or entered incorrect data, the employer should close the case and create a new case for the employee with the correct information.

3. Close the Case

All E-Verify cases must be closed by the user in E-Verify when a final verification result is received, regardless of the result. Closing cases is very important because it helps E-Verify maintain statistics on program usage and outcomes.

E-Verify will ask if the employee is still working for the employer and will then instruct the employer to choose the reason why the case is being closed. Once the case is closed, the employer must either record the case verification number on the employee's Form I-9 or print the case details and keep it on file with the employee's Form I-9.

[Source: US Citizenship and Immigration Services]

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