Federal Contractors Q&As

Welcome to the E-Verify federal contractor question and answer page. Browse our topics to find answers related to FAR rule requirements and using E-Verify.

Expand All

Your organization will be required to use E-Verify if the terms and conditions of your grant contain the FAR E-Verify clause. Review your grant for the FAR E-Verify clause and check with your contracting official if you have any questions.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Nearly all food and agricultural products fall within the definition of a COTS item. Federal contracts for COTS items are exempt from the E-Verify federal contractor rule. Federal contracts for food and agricultural products shipped as bulk cargo, but that otherwise would be considered COTS items, such as grains, oils and produce, are also exempt. Subcontracts that only provide supplies, such as food, are also exempt.
Last Reviewed/Updated:

E-Verify cases may only be created using information from your Human Resources database if that information was taken directly from the employee’s Form I-9.

Last Reviewed/Updated:

No. The E-Verify MOU only requires employers to “display the notices supplied by DHS in a prominent place that is clearly visible to prospective employees and all employees who are to be verified through the system.” To comply with this requirement, employers should display the E‑Verify Participation and Right to Work posters in a prominent location where both prospective and existing employees can see it. These notices can also be found in the Essential Resources section of E-Verify.

Last Reviewed/Updated:

No. The prime contractor is responsible for ensuring that all subcontractors at every tier incorporate the full FAR 52.222-54 clause in its subcontracts.

Last Reviewed/Updated:

Although prime contractors may act as the E-Verify employer agent, subcontractors are not limited to this relationship. Subcontractors may choose another E-Verify employer agent to use for E-Verify.

Last Reviewed/Updated:

The E-Verify MOU states that an account may be terminated at any time upon 30 days prior written notice. Under certain circumstances, an E-Verify account may be closed prior to the end of the 30-day period. Those circumstances include:

  • The company no longer exists;
  • Closing the account is necessary to protect the account from unauthorized access;
  • A company has duplicate or unnecessary accounts;
  • A company needs to re-enroll in order to change its E-Verify access method; or
  • E-Verify determines that closing an account before 30 days is necessary based on the requirements of law or policy.

To request that your E-Verify account be closed prior to 30 days from your notice of termination based on one of these circumstances, your written request for termination must:

  • Request that your E-Verify account be closed prior to 30 days from your notice of termination;
  • Explain why your account should be closed prior to 30 days from your notice of termination, referencing and explaining in detail one or more of the circumstances above; and
  • Specify the date you would like your E-Verify account closed.

Closing E-Verify accounts prior to the end of the 30-day period is at the discretion of E-Verify.

Last Reviewed/Updated:

Yes. During the E-Verify enrollment process, the subcontractor has the same verification options as the prime contractor with a federal contract that contains the FAR E-Verify clause. Prime and subcontractors can choose to verify:

  • All new hires and all existing non-exempt employees assigned to a federal contract, or 
  • Their entire non-exempt workforce (all new hires and all existing employees throughout the entire company).
Last Reviewed/Updated:

No. E-Verify does not distinguish between a prime contractor and a subcontractor. It only differentiates between federal contractors with contracts that do or do not contain the FAR E-Verify clause. For more information on subcontractors, see the subcontracting provision at 52.222-54(e) of the E-Verify clause and the E-Verify Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors.

Last Reviewed/Updated:

Yes. Most federal contractors are required to use E-Verify for all newly hired employees, regardless of whether the employees are assigned to a federal contract, and all existing employees assigned to the contract. However, certain organizations with applicable federal contracts containing the FAR E-Verify clause qualify for an exception that requires them to use E-Verify, but permits them to choose to use E-Verify only to verify the employment authorization of employees assigned to a covered federal contract (both new hires and existing employees, but only new hires and existing employees assigned to the contract). These organizations include:

  • Institutions of higher education (as defined at 20 U.S.C. 1001(a))
  • State and local governments
  • Governments of federally recognized Native American tribes
  • Sureties performing under a takeover agreement entered into with a federal agency pursuant to a performance bond

For specific instructions on organizations that qualify for exceptions, see the E-Verify Supplemental Guide for Federal Contractors.

Last Reviewed/Updated:
Last Updated Date: