E-verify is a free, online system which allows any employer in the United States to verify their new employees’ ability to legally work in the U.S. Any employer in the U.S. may voluntarily implement E-Verify as part of its hiring process, but in many industries such as governmental positions in several states and all federal positions, this program is mandatory. States can make their own regulations regarding E-Verify. In Georgia, for instance, it is now mandatory to use e-verify for all businesses in the state with over 10 employees. If a company chooses to implement E-Verify, it must post a notice in a visible area of its place of work so that potential employees are alerted of the company’s participation in the E-Verify program.
The E-Verify program can be only used for new hires. It works by matching the information contained in the mandatory Form I-9 to the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration databases.
The program does not tell the employer the immigration status of its potential employees. It only verifies the potential employee’s authorization to work in the United States. A photo verification tool was added to the system after its first implementation to match the employee’s photo on an Employment Authorization Document or Permanent Resident Card to the photo on file at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This added function was implemented to further prevent any form of document fraud. Once you join the program and input the required employee’s information, you will almost immediately get a response as to whether that potential employee is authorized to work in the United States.
Companies that implement E-Verify must be consistent in their implantation. This means all new employees must be run through E-Verify. Should your company choose to select some employees to verify and not others, you will risk potential investigations, fines, and even liability. Therefore, it is crucial that you first consider training your human resources personnel before using E-Verify. Also, you cannot implement this program to run checks on current employees, as it can only be implemented going forward to screen potential new hires. As with any immigration related program, it is best to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before you start using E-Verify in your place of work. At Weinstock Immigration Lawyers, we have the expertise to guide you and your company for a smooth transition in the implementation of E-Verify, so give us a call today.