U.S. Law Center

How does the E-verify system work?

When you apply for jobs in California or elsewhere in the United States, you should know that any employer may check your immigration status after you have filled out the employee portion of Form I-9. All new employees must complete their section of the form before the end of the first day of employment, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services notes that an employer may use the information provided to participate in the E-verify system.

Your employer must notify you if the company participates in the system, either with a notice posted at the hiring location or with information provided with your application. This must be communicated to you before you accept the job. While some businesses may have the freedom to decide whether to use the system, it may be required for others.

The federal government has set up the system on the Internet so that employers can quickly determine whether you can legally work in the United States. The information that is entered into the system is matched to other records about you entered by the Department of State, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

If the results indicate that there is a problem, also known as a tentative nonconfirmation, you have the right to dispute it. During that process, your employer is not allowed to fire you. Incorrect information on your Form I-9, a change in your citizenship status or a name change due to marriage could cause a tentative nonconfirmation. Choosing not to contest the results could result in dismissal from your job. This overview of the E-verify system is provided for your education, but it should not be considered legal advice.

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