Government to Allow E-Verify “Self Check”

March 18, 2011

Starting on March 21, 2011, the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) will allow an individual to use E-Verify to check on his or her work authorization status and correct errors in the federal databases used by E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet-based employment verification system run by the USCIS, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Until now, only employers were allowed to use the system to verify the work authorization of newly-hired employees.

Any individual over the age of 16 will be able to use E-Verify Self Check by first providing information to authenticate the person’s identity and then submitting work authorization information normally provided in completing Form I-9 employment authorization forms. A message of “work authorization confirmed” will be displayed if the information provided by the individual matches the information contained in the DHS, Social Security Administration (SSA), and Department of State databases used by E-Verify. If there is a mismatch in the information, the Self Check will provide a message such as “Possible mismatch with SSA” or “Possible mismatch with Immigration Information.” The Self Check will also provide instructions on how to request corrections of errors in database records.

Employers may not use Self Check as a pre-screening tool for possible new hires. For example, an employer may not require a job applicant to present Self Check certification as a condition of application for employment. As before, employers can only use E-Verify to confirm employment authorization of workers once they are hired. This use of E-Verify is limited to employers enrolled in the program.

Self Check will initially be available only in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi and Virginia. The USCIS plans to expand Self Check to other states over time and eventually make it available throughout the United States. The service is free.

A preview of the program is available at the USCIS website.