How to Verify a Green Card

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An individual or employer can verify green cards using the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service website E-Verify online service. E-Verify will indicate whether someone is authorized to work in the United States or if the information provided does not match government records.

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you are authorized to live and work in the country. Permanent residents are issued green cards as proof of this authorization. Employers might ask to verify your green card status to confirm your work eligibility. There are two ways to verify a green card using the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS’s E-Verify website: Either you can perform a self check or the employer can perform a green card verification.

What Is the E-Verify System?

The E-Verify system is a website that allows you or your employer to verify the authenticity of a green card. In order to confirm your work eligibility, E-Verify compares the information you provide on the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9) with the records of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration.

E-Verify only indicates if you are authorized to work, but does not provide the employer with your immigration or citizenship status. Once a check is completed, you or the employer will receive the case result, which may be an Employment Authorization, a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), or a Final Nonconfirmation.

How to Use E-Verify Self Check

To verify your own employment status, you can use the E-Verify Self Check service at www.e-verify.gov. Anyone in the United States over the age of 16 can use this free service. Using Self Check gives you the chance to correct your records with federal agencies before a data mismatch is reported to an employer.

There are four steps to using Self Check:

  • First, Self Check asks you to enter personal information, such as your name, address, Social Security number and date of birth.
  • Self Check then uses this information to generate a quiz with questions that only you can answer. The quiz is used to confirm your identity.
  • After confirming your identity, you provide additional information, including citizenship or green card documentation.
  • Finally, Self Check compares your information to SSA and DHS records and returns your results, indicating whether you are eligible to work in the United States or if there is a mismatch of information.

How Employers Can Verify a Green Card

Not all employers are required to use the E-Verify system to verify employment eligibility, but many are, including most federal agencies and federal contractors. When an employer seeks to verify employment status, the employer will start by requesting that you fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. This form requires permanent residents to present a green card to establish both identity and employment authorization.

Within three days of starting a job, your employer will create a case in the E-Verify system, using the information from Form I-9. As part of the verification process, the employer is asked to compare the photo on the green card with a photo from the DHS and SSA database.

Tips

  • E-Verify uses information from the Form I-9 supplied by employers. Complete and return all employee I-9 forms within three days of employment.

After the information is entered into E-Verify, the employer will receive one of the following results:

  • Employment Authorized. This indicates that your information matched the available records.
  • Verification in Process. This indicates that the case was referred to DHS for further verification.
  • Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC). This indicates that the information did not match records available to SSA and/or DHS. If you receive a TNC result, you can  contest it. Your employer will not be able to terminate your employment during the review process.
  • Case in Continuance. The employer will get this result if you have visited an SSA field office or contacted DHS after getting a TNC, but more time is needed to determine a final case result.
  • Close Case and Resubmit. This result indicates that the SSA or DHS requires that the employer close the case and create a new case for you. This result may be issued when your U.S. passport, passport card or driver’s license information is incorrect.
  • Final Nonconfirmation. This result indicates that E-Verify cannot confirm employment eligibility even after the employee visited SSA or contacted DHS. An employer can terminate employment based on this result.

Close a case and open a new case if the Tentative Nonconfirmation message is a result of typographical errors.

Tips

  • Always close a case after confirmation of green card status is received.

Things You'll Need:

  1. USCIS number, formerly called the A Number or Alien Registration Number.
  2. Social Security number.
  3. Full name of permanent resident alien.
  4. Completed Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification Form).

Always verify each entry into the E-Verify system. Inaccurate information or typographical errors will result in incorrect results of a Tentative Nonconfirmation response.

References

Resources

About the Author

Sally Brooks is a writer living in New York City with her chunky toddler and patient husband. She graduated magna cum laude from the University Cincinnati College of Law and her work has been featured in Jurist and the Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review.

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