Employment Verification Program (E-Verify)


The term E-Verify refers to an employment verification program used to determine if an employee is eligible to work in the United States.  E-Verify compares information provided by an employee in their Employment Eligibility Form (I-9) to that obtained from the Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


Also known as an employment verification program, E-Verify is a web application used by employers to determine if an employee is permitted to work in the United States.  While the system is voluntary for some employers, federal and state law may require certain companies to verify all employees are legally permitted to work in the United States.

The website is operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in association with the Social Security Administration (SSA).  Information provided on an individual's Employment Eligibility Form (I-9) is compared to federal records to determine if an individual over the age of sixteen is a U.S. citizen or a foreign citizen authorized to work in the United States.

Initial research conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies found E-Verify to be 99.5% accurate, with approximately 5% of system queries resulting in a "not authorized to work" status.  When this occurs, employees are permitted to work while the problem is resolved.  Employers must notify the appropriate agency of such a finding within eight work days.

E-Verify is a federal program and cannot provide employers with guidance on individual state and local requirements.  Employers can find local assistance through state agencies such as their Department of Labor or a regional Chamber of Commerce.

Related Terms

applicant pool, pre-employment drug testing, workplace drug testing, employment background check