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E-Verify is an online database that allows employers to verify the work eligibility of prospective employees. Before its official launch, it was formerly a pilot project known as the
Employment Eligibility Verification Program. E-Verify is managed and operated by both the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, and is overseen by the
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Employers participating in the E-Verify program can verify the validity of their prospective employee’s Social Security number by comparing it with government databases. In order for employers to participate in E-Verify, they must pre-register. E-Verify is proving to be a popular program, with 90,000 employers already participating, and over 6.5 million searches being performed in 2008.
There is no cost to use E-Verify, and users remark on the simplicity of the system. The E-verify system allows employers to verify information on their prospective employee’s employment eligibility form (I-9) with millions of records in government immigration databases. The system produces results within seconds, so employers are able to detect right away if their prospective employee is eligible to work in the United States. E-Verify was enhanced in May 2008 and now includes the citizenship and naturalization information of individuals. Sometimes E-Verify indicates a Social Security number mismatch, when citizens are indeed eligible to work in the United States. This has most commonly happened to naturalized Americans who did not submit the proper updates to the SSA. Individuals who are deemed to have a citizenship mismatch on E-Verify also have recourse, and are urged to contact the USCIS as soon as possible.
- Almost 4% of individuals receive an initial, tentative non-confirmation
- 0.37% of the above figure are later authorized for work eligibility
- Over 96% of employees are approved within 24 hours