E-Verify Frequently Asked Questions
What is E-Verify?
E-Verify is an internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The system permits employers to electronically verify their employees’ work authorization in the United States and to prevent identity fraud. Earlier forms/versions of E-Verify have been in existence as a voluntary program since 1996. Employment Verification through the E-Verify system is now mandatory for certain federal contractors, including the University of Iowa.
How did E-Verify become mandatory?
On June 6, 2008, President Bush issued Executive Order (EO) 13,465. This EO mandates federal contractors enroll in what had previously been a voluntary program to electronically verify the social security number and employment authorization of employees through the web-based DHS E-Verify system. DHS issued final regulations implementing the Executive Order on November 14, 2008. These regulations became effective September 8, 2009 and included the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Clause 48 C.F.R. 52.222-54.
Do all UI employees need to be E-Verified?
No. Only those university employees who are assigned to work on projects funded by federal contracts that include the E-Verify FAR clause are required to be E-Verified. Additionally these employees must have been hired by the University of Iowa after November 6, 1986. If the employee was hired prior to November 6, 1986 they are exempt from this process.
Do all federal contracts have the E-Verify FAR clause?
No. The E-Verify FAR clause is required to be attached to all federal contracts of more than 120 days in duration and with a value of more than $100,000. This clause also applies to subcontracts with a value of more than $3,000 that the university receives from a federal contractor who is required to ensure all subcontractors adhere to the E-Verify FAR clause.
Please note the FAR clause is not retroactive; meaning it is not applied to contracts the University of Iowa entered into before September 8, 2009. However, there can be new modifications to those contracts. It is likely that the E-Verify FAR clause will be added to the contract in the future.
I have a federal grant. Does E-Verify apply?
No. E-Verify only applies to federal contracts, not grants. UI gets many more grants than contracts.
New Contracts with the E-Verify Clause
How will we know if the E-Verify FAR clause applies to our contract?
When routing your new federal contract (or modification to an existing contract) to the Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP) contract reviewers will look for the inclusion of the FAR clause. If the FAR clause is included, DSP will immediately send a notice that the E-Verify process is required to the Principal Investigator (PI) and departmental research administrator (if one is designated on the Routing Form). DSP will also notify Central Human Resources because HR is responsible for carrying out the E-Verify process with the affected employee(s).
Who is required to be verified under the E-Verify program?
University employees who are assigned to work on the project that is funded by a covered federal contract must go through the E-Verify process. Assigned employees are those who work directly on the covered contract. This does not include employees who normally perform support functions, or overhead or indirect functions, such as secretarial, janitorial, or administrative services – unless these employees are directly paid from the contract. If an employee is paid from the contract they are required to be E-Verified. The Human Resources representative in your department will help you determine whether an employee is required to be verified.
We hired someone who is assigned to work on a project funded by a federal contract that includes the E-Verify FAR clause and is required to be E-Verified, but who will not be working on-campus or even in the state of Iowa. How do we complete their I-9?
Please contact the Payroll Office for assistance. You may send an E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Who will E-Verify the employees and how do they do it?
The University’s Human Resources Department has acquired software called I-9 Express by the TALX Corporation that will easily access the government’s E-Verify system. The process uses the I-9 Employment Eligibility Form that most employees completed when they were hired. The employees who need to be E-Verified may have to complete a new I-9. The process will be carried out by the Human Resources representative in your department. You should work closely with that individual.
The employee has changed their name due to marriage, birth or other reason. Is the employee required to complete a new I-9 if they are subject to E-Verify (or have already been E-Verified by UI)?
Yes. E-Verify regulations require the employee to complete a new I-9 form when they have changed their name for any reason. This is different than the I-9 regulations that do not mandate a new I-9 be completed if the name has changed.
If the employee being E-Verified is not a U.S. citizen are there any special requirements?
Yes. If the employee is a lawful permanent resident (green card holder) or a non-immigrant that holds a valid Employment Authorization Document Card (EAD card) UI is required to take a copy of these DHS work authorization documents and send to Payroll. Payroll must then film (scan) the work authorization documents into the Payroll system to ensure compliance with the E-Verify regulation. ONLY these documents are to be copied and retained per the E-Verify FAR clause.
What if E-Verify says one of our employees is not eligible to work?
If the system is initially not able to confirm an employee’s eligibility to work, it will produce a Tentative Non-Confirmation (TNC). The employee in question will be directed to the appropriate agency to resolve the problem and has 8 Federal Work days in which to do so. During this process the employee is to continue to work while the issue is being resolved. The University is required per the FAR clause regulation to terminate the employee after 8 Federal Work days if the TNC has not been resolved.
When do we start to E-Verify the affected employees?
Not until the contract has been signed by both the University of Iowa and the sponsor/Federal Government. Federal law prohibits verification before the contract is signed. DSP (Division of Sponsored Programs) will notify the PI, the departmental administrator, and Human Resources as soon as the contract has been signed by all parties.
Is there a deadline for getting affected employees E-Verified?
Yes and the deadline depends on the circumstances. Here are the general rules:
- For new contracts with existing University employees, these employees must be E-Verified within ninety (90) days of the contract being signed.
- For existing University employees who are added to the project team some time after the federal contract/project has started, E-Verify must be initiated within thirty (30) days of the date of assignment.
- For employees who are being newly hired by the University to work on a covered federal contract, E-Verify must be initiated within three (3) business days of that employee’s date of hire.
Again, individual circumstances may affect the deadlines. You should work closely with your Human Resources representative and with Sponsored Programs to make sure that you are in compliance.
Ongoing Compliance with E-Verify
We are going to add an employee to the FAR clause covered project’s team. What do we do?
Immediately notify your departmental Human Resources representative. The employee most likely will be required to be E-Verified.
- If the affected person is an existing University employee that process must be initiated within thirty (30) days.
- If the person is newly hired by the University for this Project, the process must be initiated within three (3)business days of the date of hire.
If the individual in question has been previously E-Verified by the University of Iowa, no further action is required. Please note, however, if a new hire for the University of Iowa previously was E-Verified at their former place of employment, UI is still required by federal law to E-Verify our new employee. UI cannot rely on other employer’s past verifications.
We have multiple federal contracts and some of our employees are on and off of those contracts at various times. Do these employees need to be E-Verified each time they are assigned to a new contract?
No, they do not. Once an employee has been E-Verified by the University of Iowa she or he can be assigned to new federal contracts without any further action being taken.
We are going to subcontract some of this project to other site(s). Do those sites have to comply with E-Verify, and do we have to tell them about it?
If the amount of the subcontract is more than $3,000, the answer is yes. As always, you should route the outgoing subcontract through Purchasing and Sponsored Programs. DSP’s personnel will make sure that the E-Verify FAR clause is included in the subcontract and that the subcontractor is made aware of this requirement.
We need to purchase some equipment and/or special supplies for this project. If we contract with a company to meet those needs will that company have to E-Verify its employees?
Possibly. The regulation states that the purchase of services or construction—either of which has a value of more than $3,000—must include the E-Verify FAR clause. However, commercially available off-the-shelf items are excluded from that requirement. Working with the University’s Purchasing Department will help you meet the regulation’s requirements.
Currently my Department does not use E-Verify but we were contacted by DSP that we have received a Federal Contract with the FAR Clause – how do we access E-Verify?
For a new department that will need to start e-verifying employees due to a first time federal contract with the FAR clause, the department HR rep will need to send an email to the UI Payroll office indicating they have a new federal contract and need to have the department set up for e-verify processing. The email should be sent to email@example.com with the option to cc Dan Schropp (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Laura Prince (email@example.com). Central HR will then contact the Division of Sponsored Programs to confirm the new federal contract and then contact IMFO to have the location file changed to reflect the new requirement for that department.
How do I receive training on the new I-9 eXpress/E-Verify Software?
UI Learning and Development have developed an ICON course to train employees who are required to complete I-9’s and/or E-Verify.
E-Verify vs. Reverification
E-verify is the process of electronically verifying an employees’ work authorization using an internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). The purpose is to use DHS and SSA records to verify an employee’s right to work in the United States and to prevent identify theft.
Reverification is the process of updating an existing I-9 (using Section 3) to re-establish the employment eligibility of a rehired employed or to update social security numbers for the “SSN Applied For” I-9s.
E-verify Photo Matching Tool (effective 12/2/2010)
Photo Matching is a new status regarding the E-Verify Photo Matching tool. The status of Photo Matching may be returned as an initial response by E-Verify. The Photo Matching status requires the employer to compare the photograph on the employee’s Section 2 document to the picture displayed by E-Verify. The employer must then indicate if the photograph on the employee’s document matches the photograph displayed by E-Verify. The only documents included in the Photo Matching tool for E-Verify Version 21 are the I-766 (EAD)and I-551 (LPR). The U.S. Passport and U.S. Passport Card will be included in the Photo Matching tool in Version 22 which will be released in 2011.
Contact Laura Prince (firstname.lastname@example.org or 5-5316) with any questions or if the photograph does not match.
For additional assistance, please contact:
For Federal Contract Questions
Division of Sponsored Programs (DSP)
Voice - 319/335-2123
Fax - 319/335-2130
Email - email@example.com
For E-Verify Regulations
UI Faculty & Staff Immigration Services
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
For E-Verify Security Applications
UI Payroll Department