For immigrants coming to the United States to work legally, there might be some confusion regarding forms you will need to fill out, or how your employer will know that you are eligible for work in the United States. For example, if you have an exiting legal status in the United States but need to change jobs, your new employer will have to make sure that you are still verifiably eligible to work in the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has created an online platform that helps employers and employees verify employment eligibility through E-Verify. E-verify is an extension of the USCIS and can be found through a link on the USCIS website. In addition, the direct link to E-verify is available here:

How does it work?

E-Verify, authorized by Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA), is a web-based system through which employers electronically confirm the employment eligibility of their employees.

Throughout the process, employers create cases based on information taken from an employee’s I-9 form (which anyone will need to complete when they are starting a new job). E-Verify then electronically compares that information to records available to the DHS and the Social Security Administration (SSA). The employer usually receives a response within a few seconds either confirming the employee’s employment eligibility or indicating that the employee needs to take further action to complete the case.

This is important because employers will be able to tell rather quickly whether an immigrant is legally allowed to working in the United States, or if they are seeking employment through illegal means or perhaps are undocumented.

The system works so that both the employer and the employee can log on, creating a network of legal residents in the United States who can be verified by various companies or organizations. The process is more efficient when more people sign up for the service.

Creating your own account

Creating your account is fairly straightforward, and immigrants who are intent on creating one should click the following link:

The way that this system works is through the first asking the account creator to verify some basic information such as their name, DOB, and Social Security Number is they have one. Then once the Self-Check is complete, the E-verify system sends you to a third party identity assurance service. It is here where account creators need to complete a timed quiz that will ask them questions only they will be able to answer based on their identity. If you pass the quiz and establish your identity for the service, you will move to the final steps of creating your account which include more detailed information about your immigration status, citizenship, and working authorization numbers.

Finally, once you submit your information, your new account will be cross-checked with U.S. government data to determine your working status in the U.S. Anyone who goes through this entire process will get a response almost instantly in this final step.

If you scroll to the “Common E-verify Questions” tab, there are also many helpful questions and answers that can assist first time users while they are navigating this new site:

E-Verify Immigration