The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) requires all U.S. employers to verify the employment eligibility of all new hires, including U.S. citizens. This verification is recorded on Form I-9.
In 1996, Congress authorized USCIS to pilot three electronic employment verification systems. The only one that survives today is known as “E-Verify.” This online verification system must be completed in addition to
Form I-9. Although E-Verify is a voluntary federal program for most employers, a number of states have enacted laws requiring some or all employers to participate in E-Verify. The federal government also requires certain federal contractors to participate. Employers failing to properly verify work authorization may be subject to a variety of civil and criminal penalties.