E-Verify is a predominantly voluntary online service for U.S. employers to confirm new employees’ eligibility to work. More than 500,000 companies are now enrolled, according to a USCIS Press Release on January 23, 2014. This is a large milestone for the service, which was established in 1996.
“Since it was established, E-Verify has experienced exponential growth, increased accuracy and high customer-satisfaction ratings,” said Lori Scialabba, Acting Director of USCIS. “Participation in E-Verify is largely voluntary, so the fact that half a million companies have signed up demonstrates significant confidence in the program. Employers using E-Verify find it helps them maintain a legal workforce in a quick, secure and accurate way.”
USCIS boasts that 98.8% of work-authorized employees are confirmed instantly or within 24 hours, requiring no further action from the employer or employee.
Users gave E-Verify a score of 86 out of 100 on the 2012 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) survey. This is significantly higher than the average score for all government agencies, which was 67.
USCIS works hard to gain and maintain customer satisfaction. It has made agreements with select State DMVs to verify the authenticity of driver’s licenses used as identity documents. It introduced Self Check, which allows workers to look up their own employment eligibility status and correct their records before they seek employment. Recently, it established a program that combats identity fraud by locking Social Security numbers suspected of being misused for employment eligibility verification. USCIS also redesigned its website to make it more user-friendly by adding more plain language content and easy-to-follow graphics.
Talk of making E-Verify mandatory has been circulating for a while and has even surfaced in Immigration Reform bills. If enrolling in E-Verify does in fact become mandatory, unenrolled U.S. employers will have several years (depending on the size of the company) to enroll after publication of the mandating law.
Use of E-Verify is becoming more strongly encouraged in the employment and immigration realms. Not only does it verify work authorization documents against federal databases, as intended, but it also shows clear intent to be compliant with federal employment eligibility regulations.