On Feb 17 2011 by Klasko Immigration

E-Verify Self-Check Goes Live on March 18

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the new E-Verify “self-check” will be available to the public on March 18, 2011.  This self-check will provide individuals with the opportunity to check their employment eligibility prior to accepting employment and it will allow individuals to correct any potential errors that are contained in the government databases that E-Verify uses to confirm identity information and employment eligibility.

The new self-check will involve two processes.  First, the individual will provide some basic identity data such as their name, address, date of birth and social security number.  This information is submitted to a third party identity service.  This service will develop two questions that only the individual would be able to answer.  If the individual is able to answer the questions, his or her identity is authenticated and he or she can move to the second step – the E-verify query.

During the E-Verify query, the individual will be asked to provide additional information that he or she would normally supply to an employer during the I-9 process.  This information includes the alien number, passport number, Form I-94 number, and/or lawful permanent resident card or work authorization document (EAD) number.  After communicating with the E-Verify system through the web, the self-check will alert the individual that he or she (1) is work authorized; (2) has a potential mismatch with data contained in the Social Security Administration’s databases; or (3) has a potential mismatch with information contained in the various immigration databases maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. 

If the individual’s E-Verify query results in any potential mismatches with social security or immigration records, the individual will be asked if he or she would like to resolve the problem.  If the individual chooses not to resolve the matter, then E-Verify will close the case.  However, if the individual does wish to resolve the error, he or she will be given detailed instructions on how to correct the error with either the SSA or DHS.  This new self-query was devised to allow individuals the opportunity to correct these errors before it became a problem after hiring.

In an effort to protect the identity of the individuals using the E-Verify self-query, E-Verify does not share information with USCIS that is received through this process.  Additionally, if the individual cannot answer the identity questions and he or she cannot move forward with the self-check, his or her record is deleted by the E-Verify system.  That being said, there are some disclosures that can be made to agencies outside of DHS.

Employers also should be very cautious about the E-Verify self check.  Klasko reminds its clients that they cannot require applicants for positions to use the E-Verify self-check.  This would constitute pre-screening prior to offering a position and having that position accepted by the employee, which results in a violation of the anti-discrimination provisions of the E-Verify rule.  Contact your Klasko Law attorney for more information.