E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The online system is a free program that allows an employer to electronically verify employment eligibility of newly hired employees.
While participation in E-Verify is not mandatory for most businesses, some companies may be required by state law or federal regulation to use the program depending on its number of employees.
Enrolling in E-Verify
An employer must provide U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with some basic information when it enrolls in E-Verify and agree to follow the rules of the program.
The steps of the enrollment process are:
Visit the enrollment website and accept terms
Employers can access E-Verify enrollment through the enrollment website. Employers must read and agree to the terms explained before continuing.
Determine the access method
An access method provides companies with different functions within E-Verify. The four access methods are employer, E-Verify employer agent, corporate administrator and web services.
E-Verify guides employers through four questions to help determine which access method is right for them. Read the information carefully because errors can delay approval of an employer’s enrollment.
Each access method includes an explanation and a question for the employer to answer. Employers will need to answer all four questions in order to continue.
Review and Confirm Access Method
The system gives employers an opportunity to review enrollment answers and to confirm that the access method selected fits their needs.
Select organization designation
Certain types of organizations have unique E-Verify requirements so it’s important to know if the employer is a federal contractor with or without the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify Clause or a federal, state or local government organization.
If an employer selects one of these categories, it may be asked additional questions related to that category. If none of those categories apply, the employer should select “None of these categories apply.”
Review and agree to the memorandum of understanding (MOU)
The employer should review its obligations as explained in the MOU and indicate whether or not it agrees with the terms. The employer will be given the opportunity to download a copy of its electronically signed MOU at the end of the enrollment process.
Enter company information
The employer enters its details, including its physical verification location, mailing address, employer identification number and total number of employees. If enrolling in E-Verify employer access, an employer may link this account to an existing corporate administrator account.
Enter or select North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code
The employer must enter the first three digits of its company’s NAICS code if known. If unknown, the employer may leave the NAICS code field blank and E-Verify will allow selection from a list.
Provide hiring site information
The employer must enter the number of hiring sites that will participate in E-Verify for each state. It should not include sites that will not participate in E-Verify.
An employer must use E-Verify for all newly hired employees at each participating site, although it is free to choose E-Verify participation on a site-by-site basis.
Register E-Verify program administrators
An employer must register at least one program administrator during enrollment. If it is indicated earlier that the MOU signatory should also be a program administrator, that person is listed, though the employer can choose to add more, as there is no maximum.
After enrollment, the program administrator(s) can register general users and additional program administrators.
Review and certify information
The employer should review the information provided because errors can cause delays in approving enrollment. An employer can change any necessary information before certifying and submitting its enrollment.
Print signed memorandum of understanding
The enrollment confirmation page confirms receipt of an employer’s enrollment information. The employer should print a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding it electronically signed and share it with its human resources manager, legal counsel and/or other appropriate staff.
The employer only needs to amend the number of hiring sites if a central location already registered does verification queries.
E-Verify involves automated systems of verification including the SSA and DHS databases. An employer may choose to leave E-Verify at any time.