The Truth About E-Verify: 5 Things Every Employer Should Know

While E-Verify may seem like just another hassle in your hiring process, it can help you avoid unauthorized workers and the costly legal troubles that come with them.

Though some employers are not required by law to use E-Verify, it can help you maintain a legal workforce by confirming employees’ Social Security information instantly.

Here are five things you need to know before using E-Verify.

1. You and your employee must complete the Form I-9 first.

Don’t jump the gun. The Employment Eligibility Verification form or Form I-9 must be completed no later than three business days after the employee begins work for pay, regardless of whether you use E-Verify.

E-Verify is your final step in the process of confirmation that your workforce is legal and authorized to work in the U.S.

2. Your employee must provide supporting documents to complete the Form I-9.

The I-9 form lists acceptable documents that employees must present to their employers to prove work eligibility. As an employer, you may not require specific documents. As long as they appear genuine and related to the employee, you must accept any documents they choose to provide. Dictating which documentation they submit can be considered discrimination.

One important exception to note: If an employee presents List B documents, they must include a photograph.

3. You’ll know instantly whether your employee is authorized to work in the U.S.

With E-verify, you receive results right away. Should your employees’ information be invalid or incomplete, you’ll be notified immediately.

Occasionally, however, the information from an employee’s Form I-9 doesn’t match government records. If the system determines that a manual review of records is necessary, you’ll receive a “DHS Verification in Process” response, and verification results are returned within 24 to 48 hours.

In cases where your employees’ Form I-9 doesn’t match government records, E-Verify will return a “Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC).”

4. A TNC does not mean that your employee is not eligible to work in the U.S. or is an illegal alien.

If you receive a TNC result, the notice will explain the cause of the mismatch. Your employee has eight federal work days to resolve the situation, and you must allow him or her to continue working until you receive a final result from E-Verify. No further action is required from the employer at this point. In fact, employers may not take action based on a TNC unless a final non-confirmation notice is received.

5. Photo matching is an important part of the verification process.

In this step you must verify that the photo displayed in E-Verify is identical to the photo on the document your employee presented for section 2 of Form I-9. Photos should always be compared to those in the document presented and not just with the face of the employee.

Some photos, like driver’s licenses, will not trigger photo matching in E-Verify. Others, specifically a Permanent Resident Card, Form I-766 or a U.S. passport, will. Make a copy of those documents and keep them on file with the Form I-9. If there is not a photo match in E-Verify, your employee will receive a TNC and must be given the opportunity to correct the problem.

Feeling overwhelmed? You don’t have to go at it alone.

Understandably, not all employers choose to navigate the E-Verify process themselves. If you choose to use a business provider of E-Verify services, be sure you choose one that offers you more than a portal into the E-Verify system – you’ll still have to do all the work. Look for a provider that accepts your I-9 forms and takes care of submitting, tracking and providing you the information you need regarding the process.

Click here to learn how Insperity Employment Screening can make your E-Verify process straightforward and stress-free.

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