The employer uses employment credentials to verify the identity of the new employee and verify that he or she is eligible for employment in the United States.
All employers do this by completing the I-9 form. Many also electronically verify DHS and SSA compliance via E-Verify.
Who are the main bodies to verify employment eligibility?
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, DHS, and SSA are responsible for ensuring that all information submitted via E-Verify is consistent. If e-Verify returns a provisional confirmation (TNC), the employee resolves the issue directly through DHS and/or SSA.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) manage E-Verify and I-9 forms. For example, USCIS changes form I-9 (most recent March 2016). USCIS is also responsible for issuing federal ID cards such as permanent residency.
Finally, the Form I-9 and E-Verification application is administered by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Board (ICE). ICE inspectors review employer documents and practices, check for violations and impose fines and penalties, including jail time.
Using Form I-9 and E-Verification
Do you remember philosophy class? Form I-9 can exist without E-Verification, but E-Verify is actually relevant to real life as it cannot exist without I-9 verification services.
What does it mean?
After Richard Nixon passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986, all employers are required to complete an I-9 form for all new employment. E-Verify then uses the information provided on the I-9 form to verify identity and employment eligibility with DHS and direct SSA.
E-Verify uses Form I-9, so you must create Form I-9 to proceed to E-Verify. Conversely, completing the I-9 form does not necessarily require E-Verify.
Confirmation of employment eligibility
After the employee completes Part 1 of Form I-9, the employer is responsible for verifying Part 2 identity and employment eligibility.
After completing Part 2, you are not expected to be proficient in authentication documents such as work visas, passports and driver’s licenses. Instead, you must decide that the document seems reasonably necessary.
Once you have made this decision, you can create Part 2 of the I-9 form.
If you have signed up for e-Verify, your identity and qualifications will be verified directly through the SSA and DHS, and a one-step verification process will take place.
Penalties for unconfirmed employment qualifications
It is best practice to understand all the risks and penalties associated with observing employment eligibility.
Here are the main penalties that all employers should be aware of:
- Errors and omissions
Minor mistakes, inappropriate editorial comments on pre-filled forms, and others will penalize the employer. Almost any field and almost every step taken to create an I-9 form or E-Verification can result in fines for the wrong thing.
- Missing forms and forms that need to be deleted
Intentional or accidental underworking forms can be fine. Similarly, I was able to trash the form (for example, if my job ended three years ago), but I could be fined if there was an error in the form.
It is important for employers to maintain consistent practices when creating I-9 forms and E-Verification. And when the process changes, the changes need to be clearly documented.
- Below are some inconsistencies that can easily cause problems.
- Make a copy of some employee IDs, not others
- Copy only certain documents
- Use e-Verify for some people, not others
- illegal employment
- Both criminal and civil penalties for recruiting unauthorized persons are clearly stated.
According to the USCIS, penalties for criminal acts that “participate in patterns or practices that recruit, recruit, or recommend unconfirmed aliens” are a fine of $3,000 and imprisonment for up to six months for each unconfirmed alien.
Civil penalties for the same illegal employment activity are up to $16,000 per worker for the third violation.
If an employer discriminates against a licensed person, you will be subject to the same fines as hiring an unapproved employee ($375) for the first violation and $16,000 per violation for the third violation.
- Do not use E-Verify if necessary
E-Verification is optional for most employers. However, certain industries (like agriculture) and jurisdictions (like Texas) require E-Verify. All federal contractors, all federal officials, and most city officials with FAR provisions must be electronically certified.
Belonging to all categories that require e-Verification will increase significantly.