E-Verify - Verify Employment Eligibility in the US
E-verify is a web-based system, operated by the U.S. government, specifically the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that can be used by the US employer to verify whether a particular individual is authorized to work in the US or not.

E-verify is free and easy. It is available to employers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S Virgin Islands and Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

When a new employee is hired, all employers in the US are required to complete Form I-9, where the employee must provide the proof of identification and work authorization.

The employer would enter the relevant information from I-9 into E-Verify system.

E-Verify would verify the work eligibility within few seconds, based on comparing the records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA). It would either would show that the employee is approved or it would show what the problem is. If there is an error where it mistakenly shows that the employee is not authorized to work, the employee has the right to contest.

Sometimes, E-verify may display a case result that required additional action and that is called an E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmation T(NC) and it means that the information entered by the employer from the I-9 form does not match government records. The employee has the right to contest the TNC and the right not to incur adverse actions because of the TNC.

Employers are not supposed to use E-Verify as a prescreening for potential candidates. Instead, they should use E-Verify once they have hired the person.

Mostly Voluntary
E-Verify is a voluntary program for most employers. However, employers with federal contracts or subcontracts that contain the Federal Acquisition Regular (FAR) E-Verify clause must enroll in E-Verify as a condition of federal contracting. Additionally, the employers are required to use E-Verify system in some states as a condition of getting a business license.

OPT Extension for Students
Foreign students studying in USA are normally given the OPT (Work Permit) for one year, once they graduate. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students are given an extension of additional 24 months. However, in order to get that extension, they must work for an employer that participates in the E-verify program.

Even before the employer checks the employment eligibility, prospective employees can check myE-Verify which has a self check feature that allows them to confirm that government records are accurate. Additionally, its self lock feature enables students to lock their Social Security Number in the E-Verify system to help protect against employment-related identify fraud.