Hiring-SSN and immigration

We are hiring a supervisor who is married to a US citizen (within the last 6 months). For her I-9, she gave me a social security card, but the number on the card has registered invalid during a background check. How do I verify this info? Could it be that it is too soon since she got the card/married the US citizen? Any help woudl be appreciated.  Thanks.



  • 3 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Just because she got married does not make her eligible to work right away.  How are you checking her SSN?  Are you going through a Background Check (3rd Party) or are you using Basic Pilot? 

    My experience has been that the way you enter the information gets you differenct answers ( if you are using Basic Pilot)

    I used Basic Pilot and if for expample her name was Gloria J. Lopez and you entered it as is, i would alot of times get back a Tenative non-confimation, J could be her maiden name and SS has her as a middle initial, SSA still have their bugs, you might just want to send her to SSA and take care of it, you did your part.   That is what I would do.

  • I think you have to distinguish between a no-match when the SS card is relied on to complete the I-9 form, and when the I-9 form was properly completed with other acceptable documents. If the employee had produced a passport or temporary/permanent work authorization, the SS card would not necessarily have been required to complete the I-9 form. In that case, provided the company is not in the Basic Pilot program, it would be a good idea to follow the guidelines issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for responding to no-match letters.

    When I attended the SHRM Employment Law and Legislative Conference earlier this month, there was a presentation by two individuals from ICE. One is handling the Basic Pilot program and, according to what she said, if a company runs a new hire through their electronic verification system and there is a no-match on the Social Security number, the employer/employee have 8 days to resolve the discrepancy or the employee should be terminated. It seemed to me that this conflicts with other guidelines issued by ICE related to a mismatch. I asked about it during the session but didn't get much information. The ICE officials said that the law creating the Basic Pilot program has this 8-day rule and that an employer who did not take action might have problems because it was on notice that the SSN may not be valid. 

    In the case you describe, the employee produced the SS card as proof of authorization to work in the United States. Because the background check provided the company with information that the name and number on the SS card may not be a match, the company is on notice that the document relied on to complete the I-9 form may not be valid. So, even if you aren't using the Basic Pilot, I would think you would need to take steps to make sure the I-9 form was completed with valid documents. It could be that the person did not change her name with Social Security after getting married or there is a difference in the spelling or middle initial. It is my understanding that the employee would have to go to a Social Security Administration office to resolve the problem. If she has another valid document to establish eligibility to work that would meet the I-9 requirements, the company could accept a different document for the I-9 form. However, there is still a mismatch that the employee should clear up.

    I think these situations can be very confusing and it seems like employers are going to be asked to take on more and more responsibility for making sure individuals are authorized to work or in the country legally. We have to be careful both to follow the rules set up by ICE and at the same time, we have to make sure we don't do anything that would result in a claim of citizenship or national origin discrimination. I also heard at the conference that some immigration related legislation is likely to pass this year and mandatory use of the electronic employment verification system will likely be part of the new law. If that happens, the SSN no-match issue would be a bigger concern because of the 8-day rule.

    It all makes me a little nervous.


  • Thanks! This is very helpful. We used a third party agent to do the check, but I will follow up as advised.
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