E-Verify FAQs
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Sam Wilkins, Director
South Carolina Office
of Human Resources
8301 Parklane Road
Suite A220
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 896-5300

INSPECTOR GENERAL'S
FRAUD HOTLINE

(State Agency fraud only)

1-855-SCFRAUD
or
1-855-723-7283

FAQ’s – South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act


Background Information

Q: What is the E-Verify program?
A: E-Verify (formerly known as the Basic Pilot/Employment Eligibility Verification Program) is a federal work authorization program that is an Internet based system, operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), that allows participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees.

Q: Who is required to participate in E-Verify?
A: Based on the Illegal Immigration Reform Act of 2008, all public employers in South Carolina must register and participate in the federal work authorization program, currently known as E-Verify, by January 1, 2009.

Q: Who is considered a ‘public employer’?
A: “‘Public employer’ means every department, agency, or instrumentality of the State or a political subdivision of the State.”

Q: Why are public employers required to participate in the E-Verify program?
A: Public employers are required to participate in the federal work authorization program as a result of the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act being passed by the Legislature and signed into law by the Governor on June 4, 2008.

Q: What training will users need in order to use E-Verify?
A: The E-Verify program is an online system that takes very little training in order to use. Once an agency has completed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security and receives its username and password, users are required to complete an online tutorial provided by DHS when signing into their account for the first time. There is also an E-Verify users handbook that is available for download on the www.uscis.gov website or by clicking http://www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/E-Verify_Manual.pdf.

Q: How many employers nationally are using E-Verify currently?
A: There are currently more than 75,000 employers using the E-Verify system. In 2007, nearly 3 million queries were run. Currently, in 2008 there have been over 4.5 million queries run.

Q: What are the benefits of using E-Verify?
A: E-Verify is a free system that allows employers to confirm the legal work status of their employees. E-Verify also reduces unauthorized employment, minimizes verification-related discrimination, is quick and non-burdensome to employers, and protects civil liberties and employee privacy. Additionally, initial verification results are returned within 3 to 5 seconds making it an efficient way to verify employee’s status.

Q: How reliable is E-Verify?
A: From October 2007 to present, E-Verify has instantly “Employment Authorized” 94% of the verification queries received. DHS estimates that the accuracy had improved to 96% since the latest enhancement was released earlier this year.
Memorandum of Understanding E-Verify Registration

Q: How do agencies register to participate in E-Verify?
A: To register with E-Verify and to complete the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security, agencies need to log on to the website at www.uscis.gov/E-verify. There are a few short questions to answer in order to set up an account. Nearly all E-Verify users will need to have “employer” access. This access enables users to conduct verification queries in the system. In order to add additional E-Verify users and manage existing user accounts, agencies will also need to select “Yes” for the “Program Administrator” role on the MOU signatory page. During registration, agencies will also need to add the “South Carolina State Office of Human Resources” as the “Corporate/Parent Company.” Once the MOU has been signed and the login and password have been received, agencies are required to verify all new hires through the E-Verify system from that point forward.

Q: What is the deadline for agencies to register to participate in E-Verify?
A: In order to be compliant with the January 1, 2009 deadline, state agencies should sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Department of Homeland Security no later than December 1, 2008, and complete the registration process by December 15, 2008.

Q: What is the deadline for agencies to execute the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security by?
A: Agencies should complete the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security no later than December 1, 2008.

Q: When will agencies be required to use E-Verify?
A: Once an agency has completed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security and completes the registration process to participate in E-Verify, all new hires from that date forward will need to be verified through the E-Verify system.

Q: What if my agency has already registered and has an active account with E-Verify?
A: If agencies already have an active account with E-Verify, they will need to edit the ‘company profile’ to add the “South Carolina State Office of Human Resources” as the corporate/parent company.

Q: After an agency executes a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to participate in E-Verify, what is the next step?
A: Once the MOU has been executed, depending on the type of user account that has been selected, your username and password will be emailed to you. Once the account information is received, Program Administrators and General Users are required to complete an online tutorial in order to perform verification queries.

Q: What are the responsibilities of the Social Security Administration (SSA) with regards to the proper function of the E-Verify program?
A: SSA will:
a. provide the employer with available information that will allow the employer to confirm the accuracy of Social Security numbers provided by all newly hired employees;
b. provide appropriate assistance with operational problems that may arise during the employer’s participation in the E-Verify program;
c. safeguard information provided by the employer through the E-Verify program, and limit access to such information to individuals responsible for the verification of social security numbers and for evaluation of the E-Verify program; and
d. establish a means of secondary verification for employees who contest SSA tentative non-confirmations

Q: What are the responsibilities of the Department of Homeland Security with regards to the E-Verify program?
A: The Department of Homeland Security:
a. agrees to provide the employer access to selected data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) database to enable the employer to conduct automated verification checks on newly hired alien employees by electronic means;
b. provide appropriate assistance with operational problems that may arise from the employer’s participation;
c. provide a manual containing instructions on E-Verify procedures;
d. provide a notice regarding the employer’s participation in the E-Verify program, as well as notices issued by the Office of Special Counsel for Unfair Immigration Related Employment;
e. issue the employer a user identification number and password that will permit the employer to verify information provided by alien employees with DHS’s database;
f. safeguard information provided to DHS through the E-Verify program, and limit access to that information to individuals responsible for the verification of alien employment eligibility and for evaluation of the E-Verify program;
g. establish a means of automated verification that is designed to provide confirmation or tentative non-confirmation of employees’ employment eligibility within 3 federal gov’t work days of the initial inquiry; and
h. establish a means of secondary verification for employees who contest DHS tentative non-confirmation that is designed to provide confirmation or non-confirmation of the employee’s employment eligibility.

Q: What are the employer’s responsibilities with regards to the E-Verify program?
A: The employer should:
a. display notices supplied by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding participation in the E-Verify program;
b. provide to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and DHS the names, titles, addresses, and telephone numbers of the employer representatives to be contacted regarding the E-Verify program;
c. become familiar with and comply with the E-Verify Manual;
d. agree that all employer representatives performing employment verification queries will complete E-Verify web based training; and
e. comply with established I-9 procedures, except that all list B documents must contain a photograph.

Q: Do agencies execute the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Office of Human Resources (OHR)?
A: Agencies execute the MOU directly with DHS.

Q: What notice to applicants are agencies required to provide?
A: Agencies are required to display two posters in each of their hiring sites where potential applicants can see them. The two posters required are an anti-discrimination poster, currently available for download on the Office of Special Counsel’s website, and an E-Verify posted that will be provided once an agency registers to participate in E-Verify.

User Roles

Q: What is the Office of Human Resources’ (OHR) role with regards to the E-Verify program?
A: OHR will serve as the E-Verify program Corporate Administrator for South Carolina State Government. In this role, OHR will provide the state’s leadership with reports about compliance with the HR implications of the Illegal Immigration Reform Act.

Q: What is the Program Administrator’s role?
A: Program Administrators can create accounts for other program administrators and General Users, view reports, perform Verification queries, unlock user accounts, reset passwords, view users, maintain hiring sites, and request account termination. Each agency will need to designate at least one program administrator in order to manage and maintain the agency users’ accounts.

Q: What is the General User’s role?
A: General users can perform verification queries, view reports, update reports, and also update their personal user profile. General users are only able to view queries they have initiated. General users are also not able to reset passwords or create additional user accounts.

When is E-Verify Used?

Q: Which employees will users need to verify using the E-Verify system?
A: Agencies will only need to verify new employees that are hired after they have signed up with E-Verify. Agencies will not have to verify any of their current employees. Agencies will need to ensure ALL new employees, regardless of citizenship status, are consistently queried through the system. Agencies are prohibited from selectively verifying new employees.

Q: When must an agency complete the verification process through E-Verify?
A: The E-Verify employment eligibility verification inquiry must be completed within three business days after each employee has been hired. The earliest the agency may initiate an inquiry is after an individual accepts an offer of employment and after both the employee and the employer complete the I-9 form.

Miscellaneous

Q: How will agency users confirm that they have completed an E-Verify verification?
A: Agency users will need to record the case verification number on the I-9 form and print the computer screen containing the case verification number and attach it to the employee’s I-9 form.

Q: Does E-Verify replace the federal I-9 requirements?
A: No, E-Verify must be used in accordance with the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act. The E-Verify program has been mandated in addition to and not in lieu of compliance with other current federal and state mandated hiring processes, including the completion of the federal form I-9.