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Photo Matching

If photo matching is triggered, employers must confirm that the photo displayed in E-Verify is identical to the photo on the document the employee presented for Section 2 of their Form I-9.

Photo matching is triggered automatically if an employee presented:

  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • Employment Authorization Document (Form I-766) or
  • U.S. passport or
  • U.S. passport card

If there is no photo on the document, E-Verify may automatically skip photo matching. Employers have the option to select No photo displayed when E-Verify either displays no photo or it displays an image of something other than a photo of a person, such as an image of a document or piece of a document.

Other documents with photos (such as a driver’s license) will not activate photo matching.

Alert Type info


 The employer should compare the photo displayed in E-Verify with the photo on the employee’s document, not with the actual employee.

Photo Matching Requirements

If an employee presents a Permanent Resident Card, Employment Authorization Document or U.S. passport or passport card as the verification document, employers must copy the front and back of the document (or in the case of a U.S. passport, copy the Passport ID page and the Passport Barcode page) and retain the copies with the employee’s Form I-9. If the employer indicates that the photo displayed on the E-Verify screen does not match the photo on the employee’s document, E-Verify prompts the employer to attach and submit copies of the front and back of the employee’s document electronically. The case will either receive an Employment Authorized result or a Tentative Nonconfirmation (Mismatch). If the case results in a mismatch, the employer must provide the employee an opportunity to take action to resolve the mismatch.

Avoiding Discrimination

Employees have the right to present any acceptable document to complete their Form I-9, as long as the document(s) appear to be genuine and relate to the employee. Employers may not require an employee to present a specific document. Doing this violates federal laws that prohibit discrimination in the verification process.

Related Resources

E-Verify User Manual

This manual provides guidance on E-Verify processes and outlines the rules and responsibilities for employers and E-Verify employer agents enrolled in E-Verify. Users must follow the guidelines set forth in the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding for Employers (MOU) and the rules and responsibilities outlined in this manual.

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