E-Verify is a way to securely cross-reference and check the information provided on an employee’s I-9 form with their government records. The service is provided entirely through the United States Government and is not independently affiliated in any way, which means that the verification process is usually very short (about five seconds), and can either confirm or deny an employee’s work authorization.
For most companies E-Verify is a voluntary choice, but there are some states and jobs in which its use is federally required, such as Arizona and Mississippi and jobs that have federal contracts or subcontracts. Over 409,000 employers in the United States voluntarily use E-verify, and even more sign up every day.
Before starting to use this service, your company needs to be enrolled--it doesn’t matter the size or location. Enrollment takes place on the E-Verify Website (uscis.gov), and once it has been completed you can register yourself and any other individuals to use and have access to the system.
It is important, before you decide to use E-Verify, that you evaluate and understand any changes that may need to happen with your business processes in order to implement a new I-9 verification system. Here are a few steps to make sure you are ready:
First, it is important to know which of the “hiring sites” will be using the E-Verify system if not all. All of the I-9s processed through that hiring site will have to be verified using the E-Verify system rather than your old-fashioned I-9 filing. Similarly, you will need to pinpoint which of your locations will be used to run “cases;” keep in mind that one location can run cases for multiple hiring sites.
Second, determine who will need access to E-Verify. We recommend that a few competent individuals associated with the talent acquisition team at your company be held responsible for filing cases and processing E-Verify forms for all newly hired employees.
Third, try to pinpoint how your company may have to change the way it handles existing I-9s in order to implement the E-Verify system. If you will have to change your I-9 verification process dramatically, make sure that you understand how those changes are going to happen, and that your team understands what it will mean for their workflow. From E-Verify’s website, some important considerations are:
- Where do employees complete the Form I-9?
- When do employees complete the Form I-9?
- Does your company outsource Form I-9 processing?
- Does your company forward its Forms I-9 to a central location?
- Does each location where the Form I-9 is completed have a computer with Internet access?
These questions should help you and your talent acquisition team better understand the changes that would need to happen in order to implement the E-Verify system. Despite these considerations, the system is overall easy to use and helps reduce the amount of time spent with I-9 verification within your company as well as the possibility for error.
Keep your eyes peeled for more upcoming posts about E-Verify!