E-Verify: Frequently Asked Questions


More than 400,000 employers participate in E-Verify, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. While many of these employers are doing so voluntarily, a growing number of jurisdictions are requiring employers to use E-Verify. Whether your company participates voluntarily or because you are required to do so, it is important to understand the responsibilities that come with using the program. The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions concerning E-Verify.

Q: What is E-Verify?

A: E-Verify is a free Internet-based program that checks whether the information on a new hire’s Form I-9 matches government records in Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Social Security Administration (SSA), and Department of State (DOS) databases to confirm whether the new hire is authorized to work in the United States.

Q: Which employers are required to use E-Verify?

A: Several states have enacted E-Verify requirements. Some state laws apply to all employers while others are limited to state contractors. The states that require private employers to use E-Verify include: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia (employers with 11 or more employees), Mississippi, North Carolina (employers with 25 or more employees), and South Carolina. In Tennessee, employers with 6 or more employees must either use E-Verify or request a copy of certain documents from the employee to confirm work eligibility.

There is currently no federal requirement for private employers to use E-Verify, but certain federal contractors are required to participate.

Q: Can I use E-Verify on current employees?

A: No, the use of E-Verify is limited to new hires only.


Q: Can I use E-Verify for some employees but not others?

A: No, employers who participate in the program must generally use E-Verify for all new hires. However, if your company has multiple locations, you may choose to use E-Verify throughout your company, or you may limit your company’s participation to certain locations. In other words, while you may be permitted to elect to participate in E-Verify on a site-by-site basis, your company must use E-Verify for all newly hired employees at each participating site.