e-Verify self check online

Tools

Individuals in selected states can now use for themselves the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services electronic system some employers use to check the legality of new employees.

The system, e-Verify, checks Social Security Administration and other government databases to see whether an individual is authorized to work in the United States.

Residents of Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia and Washington, D.C., can now make use of a web-based e-Verify feature called Self Check and receive instruction on how to correct inaccuracies in their DHS and SSA records, DHS announced March 21. Additional states will be added on a rolling basis on the coming months, according to DHS.

Running a self-check will not affect a user's credit score, DHS says. "Users viewing their credit reports after using Self Check will see a record of a 'soft hit' or 'soft inquiry' in the report. Soft hits are not shown to businesses and are not used to calculate credit scores," DHS says in a fact-sheet.

The system works by having the user input basic information such as social security number and address, and then answering a set of multiple choice questions based on previous addresses or current household information. For example, you might be asked to select the correct street name of a previous address from a list.

Even if you are eligible to work in the United States, however, e-Verify might still flag you as ineligible.

"A number of things can happen between now and when a future employer checks your information using E-Verify that may cause you to get a mismatch. Those things include name changes, citizenship status changes, expiration of work authorization, or a simple data entry error when your employer is entering your information into E-Verify," the system warns.

A recent Government Accountability Office report found that although e-Verify erroneously flags far fewer employees than previously, it still wrongly rejects .3 percent of employees run through the system.

Should e-Verify become a mandatory check for all new employees, as some in Congress have suggested, that would amount to 180,000 wrongly flagged people a year, the GAO estimates.

More than 225,000 employers use E-Verify to check the employment eligibility of their employees, with about 1,000 new businesses signing up each week, according to the e-Verify website.

For more:
- run a e-Verify self-check on yourself
- go to a DHS fact sheet on e-Verify

Related Articles:
USCIS e-Verify still flags eligible employees, says GAO
USCIS readying self-check site for employment verification