The United States government requires current and potential employees to provide—and employers to collect—certain information verifying their identity and employment authorization. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in civil fines, ineligibility for government contracts, and even criminal penalties if a pattern of violations becomes apparent.
The process for verifying employment authorization status in Oak Brook is not necessarily difficult, but it can be confusing and time-consuming, and it is important to follow procedures correctly. A knowledgeable immigration attorney with experience in this particular area of law could work with employers and employers alike to ensure compliance with these regulations.
The cornerstone of the employment authorization process is Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification, produced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). All workers are required to fill out this form, on which they attest to their identity and their authorization to legally work in the United States.
Employees are also required to show proper forms of documentation to verify both their identity and their work eligibility. On their end, employers must examine these documents to make sure they are plausibly authentic, record information about the documents included with the I-9 Form, and keep a copy of the form on file for inspection.
E-Verify is an online system where employers can enroll in that allows them to confirm their employees’ eligibility to work legally in the United States. The E-Verify system electronically compares the information employees provide on their I-9 forms with records compiled by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Although enrollment in E-Verify is typically voluntary, some employers are required to use it to fulfill terms of government contracts or if necessitated by state law or other requirements.
Once an employer has a fully completed I-9 form from an employee, the employer
can create a “case” in E-Verify for that employee using information from the form. This should be completed by the third business day after the employee starts work. The E-Verify system then checks the information to see how it compares with other government records.
Depending on the forms of identification the employee presented, the E-Verify photo matching system may ask the employer to compare the photo on the documentation with a photo produced as part of the E-Verify case. This provides additional confirmation of the identity of the employee and the validity of documentation provided.
The employee’s case results are usually available through E-Verify in just a few seconds. If the information provided by the employee on the I-9 matches the available records, the system reports the results as Employment Authorized. However, sometimes the case results indicate a need for more information or another problem.
A message stating “Verification in Process” indicates that the case is being referred to the Department of Homeland Security for further investigation. A “Case in Continuance” message also indicates that more time will be needed before a result is available. If certain identifying documents such as a driver’s license is found to have incorrect information, the results may tell the employer to “Close Case and Resubmit.”
Finally, there are the nonconfirmation messages. A “Tentative Nonconfirmation” message indicates that information from the I-9 did not match other government records.
The employee must be notified of this result and given the opportunity to correct the problem. If the employee has unsuccessfully tried to work out the problem through government agencies, E-Verify will send a “Final Nonconfirmation” message stating that the system is not able to confirm the employee’s eligibility for employment.
The process for verifying employment authorization status in Oak Brook can be simple for some employees but complicated for others, depending on the records on file and the documentation used to verify identity and employment eligibility. Employers experiencing difficulty with the E-Verify system or who seek to verify employment authorization through other means may wish to contact USCIS or a knowledgeable immigration attorney. Contact our office today to get professional insight on the employee verification system and what solutions may be best for your specific issues.