Last month, U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it is implementing an enhancement to the E-Verify program that is designed to help combat identity fraud. According to USCIS, the enhancement “provides a critical safeguard to the E-Verify system by detecting and preventing potential fraudulent use of SSNs to gain work authorization.”
USCIS found that, in some cases, users of E-Verify were entering information that appeared valid, but was in fact stolen, borrowed, or purchased from another individual. With the new safeguard in place, USCIS can lock a SSN that appears to have been misused so that it cannot continue to be used in fraudulent submissions. If an employee attempts to use a locked SSN, E-Verify will generate a “Tentative Nonconfirmation” (TNC), which the employee can contest at a local Social Security Administration (SSA) field office. If an SSA field officer confirms the employee’s identity correctly matches the SSN, the TNC will be converted to “Employment Authorized” status in E-Verify. USCIS encourages employees who successfully confirm their identities to contact USCIS for more information about identity theft and fraud prevention.
What Is E-Verify?
E-Verify is a voluntary computer system provided to employers by the USCIS that allows employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of newly-hired employees. E-Verify can only be used to check new hires, must be used within 3 days of the employee’s start date, and cannot be used to pre-screen employees.
In order to participate in E-Verify, the employer must submit information provided on the Form I-9 into the E-Verify online system. E-Verify then checks that information against the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security databases, and provides the employer with one of the following results within seconds: (a) Employment Authorized (employee is authorized to work); (b) Verification in Process (DHS will respond within 24 hours); (c) Tentative Non-Confirmation (information provided by DHS does not correspond with SSA information); (d) Final Non-Confirmation (employee is not work authorized).