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One of the most sensitive issues facing employers in the United States today is immigration law compliance.  As most of you know, the Department of Homeland Security works against illegal immigration.  Many employees are experiencing compliance issues due to the E-Verify system.  In order to deal with this complex issue, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has unveiled the E-Verify self-check process to aid employees.  While currently only available in a few states, the program will be offered in other states on a rolling basis.

The E-Verify Self Check was developed to address employer concerns regarding the inaccuracy of information in the E-Verify system that led to an increased number of tentative non-confirmations.  E-Verify Self Check enables individuals to check their work authorization status prior to employment and facilitate correction of potential errors in federal databases that provide input in the E-Verify process.

If the information provided by the individual matches the information contained in federal databases, a result of "work authorization confirmed" is displayed by the individual.  If the information is a mismatch, E-Verify Self Check will provide the individual a result of "Possible mismatch with SSA" or "Possible mismatch with immigration information".  While the launching of E-Verify Self Check has the potential to reduce the number of tentative non-confirmations, employers are reminded and cautioned not to require applicants to self-check prior to applying for a job, as such a practice could violate the anti-discrimination provisions of E-Verify.

It is important for employers to remember that E-Verify may be used only for new hires (or certain existing employees pursuant to the law covering federal contractors) once an offer has been extended and accepted, and an I-9 form has been completed.

Employers should continue to monitor the status of the availability of E-Verify Self Check in their state but remember not to require its use by applicants prior to applying for a job.