How to Check If an Alien Number Is Valid?

by Kelli Peacock Dunn; Updated September 26, 2017

When an employee provides an alien identification number upon hiring, how do you know if it is legitimate? Maybe you have been given an alien identification number from someone who claims to have acquired it on your behalf from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Fortunately, USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have a program in place to help with both of these situations. The process is known as E-Verify and can be performed by businesses, as well as individuals.

Step 1

Enroll with E-Verify. Go to the Select the "Enroll in E-Verify" link. Allow 15 to 30 minutes for the enrollment process. Provide your company profile including business name, physical and mailing address, employer identification number, and names of company representatives authorized to access E-Verify. You will also be required to provide the first three digits of your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. If you are unsure of this number, an E-Verify representative will help you locate it.

Step 2

Log-in to the E-Verify site with your assigned number and password. Select the "My cases" link and "New case." Using the employee's I-9, provide the information the employee has submitted, including immigration status and any identification numbers such as alien identification number, driver's license or social security card. You will be prompted through each step. Verify you have spelled all words and entered the numbers correctly.

Step 3

Compare photos. Review a photo you have of the employee and compare it to one provided on the E-Verify screen to determine if the individuals are the same. Respond "Yes" or "No" to confirm or deny a photo match.

Step 4

Review case results. Either an "Employment authorized" or "DHS tentative non-confirmation" message will appear on your screen. If the alien identification number provided to you is accurate, the first message will be shown. You must then select "Close case.". If the alien identification number is not valid, you will receive the second message. The case will automatically be referred to DHS for further investigation.

Step 5

Perform a self check. To verify your own alien identification number, go to the USCIS website and select "E-Verify self check" under the Employment verification section. You will be directed to enter your alien identification number, name, address, birthdate and other identifying information. This includes a quiz section with information only you could answer, to confirm you are the one submitting the request. Your work eligibility status will be provided. If your alien identification number does not match, you will be assisted in resolving the matter.


  • Employers should submit an E-Verify case within three days of a new hire beginning work.

About the Author

Kelli Peacock Dunn has been a news editor and photographer since 1998, working at a weekly newspaper in Northwest Florida. Her articles have also appeared in "Panama City Living" magazine and "The Lookout."

Photo Credits

  • Siri Stafford/Lifesize/Getty Images