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E-Verify Program Highlights

E-Verify is a free and simple to use Web-based system that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of newly hired employees.

E-Verify is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees the program.

E-Verify is a re-branding of its predecessor, the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program, which has been in existence since 1997. The Basic Pilot is being re-branded to highlight key enhancements in the program, including a new Photo Screening Tool that helps employers to detect forged or faked immigration documents.

E-Verify works by allowing participating employers to electronically compare employee information taken from the Form I-9 (the paper-based employment eligibility verification form used for all new hires) against more than 449 million records in SSA's database and more than 80 million records in DHS' immigration databases. Results are returned within seconds.

See the "E-Verify Statistics" link on the bottom of this page for statistical information on the E-Verify program.


New Enhancements to the E-Verify System

As of May 5, 2008, the E-Verify system includes naturalization data, which helps to instantly confirm the citizenship status of naturalized U.S. citizens hired by E-Verify employers.  Naturalized citizens who have not yet updated their records with the Social Security Administration (SSA) are the largest category of work-authorized persons who initially face an SSA mismatch in E-Verify.

Additionally, a naturalized citizen who receives a citizenship mismatch with SSA can call USCIS directly to resolve the issue (in addition to the option of resolving the mismatch in person at any SSA field office).

For more information about this improvement of E-Verify, please see the link on enhancements at the bottom of this page.

Photo Screening Tool

E-Verify's Photo Screening Tool is the beginning of biometric verification within the E-Verify system. This additional feature will be the first step in giving employers the tools they need to detect identity theft in the employment eligibility process.

The Photo Screening Tool feature allows an employer to check the photo on his or her new hire's Employment Authorization Document (EAD) or Permanent Resident Card ("Green Card") against the 14.8 million images stored in DHS immigration databases.

Extension of Optional Practical Training Program

Foreign students in F-1 nonimmigrant status who have been enrolled on a full-time basis for at least one full academic year in a college, university, conservatory, or seminary certified by Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), are eligible for 12 months of optional practical training (OPT) to work for a U.S. employer in a job directly related to the student’s major area of study. Please see link below to the "International Student and Exchange Visitor Program."

An additional 17-month OPT extension is now available for current OPT F-1 students who have completed a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degree and accepted employment with employers enrolled in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) E-Verify employment verification program.   Please see link below to "Supplemental Questions & Answers:Extension of Optional Training Program for Qualified Students."

This extension will benefit students with pending H-1B petitions and change of status requests, as it will enable them to maintain their employment eligibility for the duration of the H-1B processing period.

Last updated: 05/01/2009

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