Difference Between I-9 and E-Verify

I-9 and E-Verify are both processes related to verifying workers' employment eligibility in the United States, but they serve different purposes and have distinct requirements. Here's an overview of the differences between I-9 and E-Verify.

Form I-9, officially known as the Employment Eligibility Verification Form, is a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services form used to verify an employee’s identity and work authorization in the United States. Mandated by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, all employers must complete a Form I-9 for each new employee within three days of the employee’s start date. E-Verify is a program that can be used in tandem with the Form I-9 for more efficient and accurate employment verification. While it isn’t mandatory for most employers to use, many states may have laws that require employers to utilize the system or begin using it once they reach a certain number of employees.

The relationship between the I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification) and E-Verify is complementary. Both processes are related to verifying the employment eligibility of workers in the United States, but they serve distinct purposes and are used in conjunction with each other in many cases. 

What is Form I-9
Difference Between I-9 and E-Verify 1

What is Form I-9?

The Form I-9 is an employment verification form mandated by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Employers must complete and notarize an I-9 form within three days of an employee’s first day at work. Employers must also retain the form for a specified period and make it available for inspection by authorized government officers. To complete the form, an employee must present two acceptable documents that prove their identity and employment authorization. These must be from List B (documents that establish identity) or List C (documents that prove eligibility to work). The employer must examine the documents to ensure that they reasonably appear genuine and relate to the employee. If the employer chooses to use a DHS-authorized alternative examination procedure, they must record their choice on the form.

What is E-Verify
Difference Between I-9 and E-Verify 2

What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is a free web-based program that helps enrolled employers confirm the employment eligibility of new hires. It works by taking information provided on the employee’s Form I-9 and electronically comparing it to records available through the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration. Generally, employers receive a response within seconds, either confirming the worker’s work authorization or informing them that they need to take further action.

I-9 and E-Verify Comparison Table

AspectI-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification)E-Verify
PurposeVerify identity and employment authorization of newly hired employees.Electronically verify employment eligibility using government databases.
Verification Process– Complete I-9 form within three business days of hire.<br> – Review and verify original documents provided by the employee.– Voluntary for most employers at the federal level.<br> – Enter information from the I-9 form into the E-Verify system.
Legal RequirementsMandatory for all U.S. employers.<br> Failure to comply can result in fines and penalties.Voluntary for most employers federally, but mandated in some states and for certain federal contractors.
Accuracy and ComplianceEmployers are responsible for verifying and maintaining the accuracy of the I-9 form.Provides an additional layer of verification beyond the I-9 form.

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