What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to allow businesses to determine the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify is a companion to the I-9 employment verification process, which requires all US employers to verify the employment authorization for newly hired employees.
Are employers required to enroll in E-Verify?
Most employers are not required to enroll in E-Verify at this time. Employers with contracts with the U.S. government and employers with worksites in some states, however, may be required to enroll. Please contact our office if you have questions on whether E-Verify is required for your company.
What are the benefits of participating in E-Verify?
Enrollment in E-Verify provides a “rebuttable presumption” against knowingly hiring unauthorized foreign worker where the employer properly completes the E-Verify process for such workers.
Employers who hire foreign students in F-1 status, who have post-completion Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization, may also benefit from E-Verify. If an F-1 student is graduating in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) field, and the employer is enrolled in E-Verify, the student’s OPT may be extended up to 17 months beyond the regular 12 month OPT period. This allows employers to employ such workers for a total of 29 months.
Are there any downsides to participating in E-Verify?
The E-Verify program requires an additional administrative burden on the part of the employer. Unless an agent is used to conduct the E-Verify process, a designated person at the company must participate in an online training program, and must be sure that all new employees are properly E-Verified. This burden may be insubstantial for larger companies, but may be more difficult for employers with only a few employees. Participating in the E-Verify may also increase the chances of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) investigation, if the employer fails to comply with the strict requirements of the E-Verify process. An investigation may also be triggered where multiple employees who are E-Verified are determined not to have proper work authorization.
May I designate an agent to conduct E-Verify?
Yes. Many companies, including CPG Immigration Law Group, offer services as designated agents for E-Verify. Please contact our office to find out more about the requirements for using an E-Verify agent.
How does an employer enroll in E-Verify?
Employers may enroll in E-Verify online at https://e-verify.uscis.gov/enroll/StartPage.aspx. Note that enrollment requires the employer to sign a Memorandum of Understanding, and a designated employee of the employer to participate in a Webinar training program.
Where can I find more information about the E-Verify program?
More information about the E-Verify program, including additional FAQs may be found at www.uscis.gov/everify