The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996
(IIRIRA) first authorized the program. E-Verify evolved from the Basic Pilot/Employment
Eligibility Verification Program, which originally developed in 1997 and was made
available to employers as a Web-based program in 2004. The Basic Pilot Extension
and Expansion Act of 2003 extended E-Verify until November 2008.
- E-Verify is an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the program.
- Free, safe, secure and simple to use, E-Verify is the best means available for determining employment eligibility of new hires and the validity of their Social Security Numbers. The program provides participating employers an automated Internet-based resource to verify the employment eligibility of newly hired employees. Participating employers run authorization checks on all newly hired employees, including U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, against SSA and DHS databases (about 449 million, and 60 million records respectively). Through this process, E-Verify assists employers in maintaining a legal workforce and protects jobs for authorized U.S. workers.
- USCIS began testing a photo screening tool enhancement to E-Verify and formally launched it on Sept. 17, 2007. The tool allows a participating employer to check the photos on Employment Authorization Documents (EAD) or Permanent Resident Cards (green cards) against images stored in USCIS databases. The goal of the photo tool is to detect and deter identify fraud by helping employers determine whether the document presented is the same document issued by USCIS (e.g., that it is not a forgery involving photo-substitution).
- More than 100,000 employers are currently using the E-Verify program to verify that their new hires are authorized to work in the United States. For FY2009 to date, more than 2 million employment verification queries have been run. During FY2008, approximately 6.6 million employment verification queries were run (as compared to a total of 3.27 million in all of FY2007). The Department of Homeland Security’s FY2009 appropriation legislation, signed into law on Sept. 30, 2008, provided $100 million to continue, expand and improve E-Verify in FY2009.
- Employers can register for E-Verify on-line, (see the “Related Links” section on the upper-right hand side of this page for a link.) The site provides instructions for completing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) needed to officially register for the program. Once registered, employers use E-Verify by entering information captured on the Employment Eligibility Verification form (I-9).
- A recent study conducted by Westat, a social science research firm which monitors the effect of various changes made to the E-Verify program, found that between April and June 2008:
- Approximately 96.1 percent of all cases queried through E-Verify were instantly found to be employment authorized (this is a substantial improvement from 94.2 percent);
- About 99.6 percent of all work-authorized employees verified through E-Verify are verified without receiving a tentative non-confirmation or having to take any type of corrective action;
- Erroneous tentative non-confirmations (those that were work-authorized but who received a non-confirmation) have improved from 0.5% to 0.4%. Ultimately, these mismatches are successfully resolved; and
- Of all queries received, final non-confirmations (meaning not work-authorized) are 3.5 percent; down from 5.3 percent.