An innovative new service launched Monday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will allow individuals in the United States to check their employment eligibility status before seeking employment. E-Verify Self Check is the first online E-Verify program offered directly to workers and job seekers. It is expected the new program will be in use across the nation by the end of the year.

The E-Verify Self Check process consists of four steps:

1. Users enter identifying information online (such as name, date of birth and address).

2. Users confirm their identity by answering demographic and/or financial questions generated by a third-party identity assurance service.

3. Users enter work eligibility information such as a Social Security number and, depending on citizenship status, an Alien Registration number.

4. The E-Verify Self Check program then checks users' information against relevant SSA and DHS databases and returns information on users' employment eligibility status.

E-Verify Self Check is not for employer use. The program is expected to reduce the number of data mismatches employers experience when using E-Verify and, as a result, will decrease the amount of time and resources they spend resolving those mismatches.

If mistakes are discovered by a job seeker using Self Check, the program provides the opportunity to submit corrections to DHS or Social Security Administration records. The information provided by workers and results of an E-Verify Self Check inquiry are not shared with employers or prospective employers.

If Self Check is unable to confirm employment authorization, users are provided with instructions on how to resolve a potential data mismatch in their SSA or DHS records. Instructions are available in English and Spanish.

Workers' legal eligibility to work in the United States continues to be a hot topic. “The E-Verify Self Check is probably just a small step in the direction of much needed comprehensive immigration reform,” says Orlando Gil, president TCTS Global. “It is possible that prospective employees would want to do a self check and present that fact at the time of the interview.” 

While the Self Check may confirm that an individual is authorized to work in the United States, it does not replace the results of an employer’s E-Verify query since an individual's status or information may have changed when an employer uses E-Verify. Individuals cannot be required to use E-Verify Self Check to prove work authorization.

The Self Check program does not address undocumented workers. “In general, the U.S. pork industry supports comprehensive immigration reform,” says David Warner, director of communications, National Pork Producers Council. “NPPC supports immigration reform that secures the country’s borders in a way that is fair and just; allows access to a legal workforce but that does not place undue burdens on employers; addresses the labor needs of specific industry sectors, including agriculture; and presents a ‘common sense’ solution for the undocumented workers already in the United States.” In addition, NPPC supports a temporary worker visa program.

Individuals who are asked by employers or anyone else to run a Self Check query to prove that they are authorized to work in the United States, or who believe they are victims of discrimination or unfair labor practice related to Self Check, should notify the Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at 800-255-7688.

For general inquiries about Self Check, go to www.uscis.gov or contact the E-Verify Employee Hotline at (888) 897-7781.