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Main Differences Between an E-Verify and the Form I-9

PSI Team | Industry Expertise

Both the Form I-9 and E-Verify employment verification aim to prevent businesses from hiring unauthorized workers. However, there are several key differences between the two processes. As with all aspects of employee screening, the Form I-9 and E-Verify come with rules and regulations businesses must follow. Throughout the screening process, employers need to know exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. When you know the main differences between E-Verify and Form I-9, you can ensure that your employment verification process remains as complaint and efficient as possible.

What is the I-9

The I-9 Form is a result of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, also known as the IRCA. This act ensures that employers don’t knowingly or unknowingly employ individuals who are unauthorized to work in the United States. The IRCA also helps prevent discrimination based on citizenship or national origin. Employers must complete the Form I-9 to authenticate every new employee’s identity and work eligibility. In section 2 of the form, they compare the employee’s provided information with the employee’s provided documentation.

What is E-Verify

E-Verify takes the Form I-9 process a step further by electronically verifying an employee’s eligibility. E-Verify services match an employee’s information with government records from the Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security to ensure the information is true and accurate. E-Verify employment eligibility verification is particularly useful for companies that have large payrolls or multiple locations across the country.

Key Differences

While the Form I-9 and E-Verify share a goal, it’s important to remember the differences between them. E-Verify enhances the Form I-9 process, but it cannot replace it. Here are the main differences between an E-Verify and Form I-9:

  • The United States government requires all employers to submit the Form I-9 for new employees, while E-Verify is optional in many circumstances
  • Form I-9 doesn’t require an employee’s Social Security number, but E-Verify does
  • Similarly, Form I-9 doesn’t require a photo on identity documents, while E-Verify does
  • When it comes to reverifying expired employment authorization, employers must use Form I-9. They cannot use E-Verify to reverify expired authorization.

While E-Verify isn’t mandatory for most employers, it’s still a useful tool in verifying your employees’ work eligibility. In many states, there may be legal requirements to use E-Verify, or to begin using E-Verify once your company reaches a certain number of employees. By using E-Verify alongside the Form I-9, you can create a more accurate and efficient employment verification process.