E-Verify Frequently Asked Questions

The information presented below is for explanatory purposes only. More information will be posted as it becomes available. The University reserves the right to supplement or modify the FAQs as circumstances warrant.

What is E-Verify?
Do colleges/departments need to enroll in E-Verify or perform E-Verify queries on employees?
Who will be E-Verified?
What is the E-Verify process for employees performing work on a federal contract?
What is the timeframe for completion of E-Verify?
What if an employee transfers to working on a qualifying federal contract that contains the E-Verify clause?
Can the Form I-9 and E-Verify process be completed before the employee's first day of work?
Do student employees need to be E-Verified?
If the work status of an employee who has previously been E-Verified by the University expires, does the employee need to again be run through E-Verify for reverification purposes?
If an employee was run through E-Verify by a previous employer, does he/she need to be E-Verified by the University?
If one of my employees was E-Verified by another University of Illinois department/unit, does he/she need to be run through E-Verify again?
What are the results returned after the initiation of an E-Verify query?
What if my new hire receives a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)?


What is E-Verify?

E-Verify is a free, Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that allows employers to verify the employment authorization of their employees. Based on the information provided by the employee on his or her Form I-9, E-Verify checks this information electronically against records contained in DHS and SSA databases. (USCIS E-Verify Website)

Do colleges/departments need to enroll in E-Verify or perform E-Verify queries on employees?

No, absolutely not. Enrollment is completed at the University level. Only those employees covered by a qualifying contract will need to be queried in the system. This will be handled by the campus/central HR office. Currently, only the Urbana and Chicago campuses are impacted.

Who will be E-Verified?

The Urbana and Chicago campuses are currently enrolled in E-Verify and have begun E-Verifying the following:

  • All faculty and staff members performing work on a federal contract with the E-Verify clause.
  • All new employees hired to perform work on a federal contract with the E-Verify clause.
  • Any employees transferred onto a federal contract with the E-Verify clause.

The Springfield campus is not enrolled in E-Verify.

Employees hired prior to November 7, 1986 who have remained continuously employed by the University of Illinois since that date will not be E-Verified.

What is the E-Verify process for employees performing work on a federal contract?

Your department/unit will be contacted by the campus/central HR office if you have any employees that must be E-Verified. The Central HR office will complete the E-Verify process, including the completion of the Form I-9, for these employees.

What is the timeframe for completion of E-Verify?

The central HR office will initiate a query after the employee accepts employment and after the Form I-9 has been completed. New employees hired to perform work on a federal contract with the E-Verify clause must be E-Verified within 3 days of hire. Existing University employees who begin working on or who are transferred to work on a qualifying federal contract that contains the E-Verify clause must be E-Verified within 30 days of beginning work on the contract. Due to the short timeframes, especially for new hires, it is extremely important that you cooperate with the central HR office to ensure that the process is completed within the required amount of time.

What if an employee transfers to working on a qualifying federal contract that contains the E-Verify clause?

Please contact the campus/central HR office as soon as possible, as this employee must be E-Verified by the campus/central HR office within 30 days of beginning work on the contract.

Can the Form I-9 and E-Verify process be completed before the employee's first day of work?

Yes; as long as the query is initiated after the employee accepts employment and after the Form I-9 has been completed. Applicants may not be prescreened by using the E-Verify system.

Do student employees need to be E-Verified?

Yes, if an undergraduate student worker, graduate assistant, or graduate hourly is performing work on a qualifying federal contract then he/she will need to be E-Verified by the campus/central HR office.

If the work status of an employee who has previously been E-Verified by the University expires, does the employee need to again be run through E-Verify for reverification purposes?

No. An employee who remains continuously employed by the University may be E-Verified one time only. Section 3 of the Form I-9 should be completed, but the employee should not be E-Verified again.

If an employee was run through E-Verify by a previous employer, does he/she need to be E-Verified by the University?

Yes. Under the federal rule, all federal contractors are required to enter the worker's identity and employment information into the E-Verify system following completion of the Form I-9 at the time of hire. The federal government does not allow the University to rely on a previous employer's E-Verify result. This applies only to employees who perform work on a federal contract with the E-Verify clause, as explained above.

If one of my employees was E-Verified by another University of Illinois department/unit, does he/she need to be run through E-Verify again?

No. As long as the employee has been continuously employed since the earlier E-Verify confirmation, another E-Verify query is not needed. However, if the employee is being rehired following separation, a new I-9 is required and the employee should again be run through E-Verify by the campus/central HR office.

What are the results returned after the initiation of an E-Verify query?

Once an employee is entered into E-Verify, one of three results will be returned, often within seconds:

  • Employment Authorized - The employee is authorized to work.
  • SSA Tentative Nonconfirmation - There is a data mismatch with the Social Security Administration (SSA).
  • DHS Verification in Process - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will respond within 24 hours with either an Employment Authorized or Tentative Nonconfirmation.

What if my new hire receives a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC)?

The University of Illinois can take no adverse action against an employee who receives a TNC. The employee has eight (8) federal working days to contact the appropriate agency to resolve the information mismatch. While an employee is contesting the TNC, the employer cannot terminate that individual's employment, lower pay, withhold pay, reduce work hours, or delay training.

Updated: 5/11/2010

Additional Resources