If you’re a tech employer, you may hire people from all over the world to work for you. You want to make sure that your employees are legally able to work in the U.S., so along with checking their education credentials and looking into their background, you might also use E-Verify.

E-Verify goes beyond a basic background check to look for things like arrests and criminal records.

More than one million employers are enrolled in E-Verify. It’s an online-based system that employers can use to compare information from an employee’s Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification to records that are available to the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. E-Verify helps employees confirm eligibility for employment.

Some employers are required to use E-Verify, but many employers participate voluntarily.

The Process

There are three main steps in the E-Verify process.

The process starts with a completed Form I-9 which is the Employment Eligibility Verification. Then, after that form is completed, an employer creates a case in E-Verify using the form. It should be created in the system no later than the third business day after an employee starts working to receive pay.

E-Verify checks the information against available records.

If an employee has a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), an Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766), or a passport, the photo matching service of E-Verify will prompt the employer to compare these photos.

Once an employer enters the information into the system, there’s a case result.

Case Results

The following are the case results that you might get back if you’re an employer:

  • Employment authorized: This indicates the information the employee provided matches the records available to the federal government.
  • Verification in the process: Under this result, the case was referred to DHS for further verification.
  • Tentative Nonconfirmation: Also known as TNC, this means the information didn’t match available records, and additional action is needed.
  • Case in continuance: This result means an employee has contacted DHS or SSA, but more time is required to determine a final case result.
  • Close the case and resubmit: You might get this result if SSA or DHS requires you to close the case and create a new one for the same employee. You can get this result if the employee’s ID information is incorrect.
  • Final Nonconfirmation: The E-Verify system isn’t able to confirm the eligibility of the employee after they visit SSA or contact DHS.

If the case is Tentative Nonconfirmation, an employee has to be notified. The employee will have to take more action before a final case result can be provided and the verification process can be completed.

What is a Tentative Nonconfirmation?

Briefly above, we discussed a Tentative Nonconfirmation. With this case result, the employer is required to give the employee a chance to take action to resolve the reason the information doesn’t match.

An employer is responsible for taking a set of steps within ten federal government working days after getting a TNC result:

  • Notify the employee of the result as soon as possible
  • Give the employee a copy of their Further Action Notice
  • Review the further action notice with the employee in private, and have them confirm if the information is correct
  • If the information is incorrect, then the case should be closed, and you can create a new one
  • If the information is correct, the employee decides whether or not to take action on the TNC
  • If your employee doesn’t tell you what they decide by the end of the 10th federal government working day, you close the case

There are a number of reasons for a mismatch against SSA or DHS records.

For example, the employee might not have updated their citizenship or immigration status with SSA or didn’t report a name change. It’s also possible that citizenship or immigration status was changed.

An employer can’t terminate, withhold pay or take other adverse action against an employee because of the TNC until it becomes a Final Nonconfirmation.

Pros and Cons of E-Verify

Pros of registering for using E-Verify include the fact that when you register, you can offer eligible foreign student employees with an F-1 visa status an extra 24 months of optional practical training. You can use this for recruiting and retention. You can also avoid getting a Social Security no-match letter.

The cons include the fact that when you register, you’re allowing the SSA and DHS to audit your data.

Additionally, it’s possible for E-Very to generate wrong confirmations of work authorizations, and the system often has issues and isn’t available when the government is shut down.

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