U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched E-Verify Self Check, a do-it-yourself service that allows you to check your employment eligibility in the USA.
E-Verify, short for Employment Eligibility Verification Program, is an Internet-based system that allows employers to verify the work-authorization status of newly-hired employees (“new-hires”) by checking governmental records. It’s designed to help employers avoid the potential legal problems of hiring undocumented immigrants.
With the launch of E-Verify Self Check, job seekers may voluntarily check their own governmental records and correct them, if necessary, in advance of landing new jobs. The purpose is to give them confidence that the information employers see will be accurate, so they may keep their new jobs without hassle.
Update 10/6/2014: E-Verify Self Check is now part of myE-Verify, a Website for employees by the USCIS.
E-Verify Self Check also benefits employers, as it will save them time and expense in helping to resolve record mismatches that workers have already resolved on their own. However, employers are prohibited from requiring workers to prove their employment eligibility through E-Verify Self Check. In fact, employers may not accept E-Verify Self Check results at all; they must instead use the employer version of E-Verify.
Initially, only workers who maintain an address and are physically located in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia or the District of Columbia will be authorized to use E-Verify Self Check. More states will roll out after the system is fully tested on the initial states.
Update 2/9/12: E-Verify Self Check is now available in Spanish (Español) and accessible to residents in all states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.
More about E-Verify
E-Verify participation is currently voluntary for most employers. However, those who do participate must use the system to check the work-authorization status of all new-hires, including U.S. citizens, to avoid potential charges of national origin discrimination.
Update 4/26/2013: Congress is considering the Legal Workforce Act (H.R.1772), a federal law that will require all U.S. employers to use the E-Verify System.
The system works by electronically comparing the completed employee section of Form I-9 to records held by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA), securely over the Internet. All new-hires must complete Form I-9 (whether or not their new employers participate in E-Verify).
Should the E-Verify System report information mismatches among Forms I-9 and DHS and SSA records, then the new-hires in question must attempt to correct their records within eight federal workdays or risk losing their new jobs. Employers may lawfully fire new-hires who don’t attempt to correct their records or who fail to complete the process, even if the new-hires truly are authorized to work in the USA.
Thanks to the launch of E-Verify Self Check, job seekers may avoid that hassle and risk by correcting their records before becoming new-hires.
Consult an attorney for legal advice regarding E-Verify, E-Verify Self Check, or related immigration or discrimination matters.