USCIS developed E-Verify Self Check to enable an individual to check his work authorization status prior to employment and facilitate correction of potential errors in federal databases that provide inputs into the E-Verify process. Through the E-Verify Self Check secure web portal, an individual will be able to check his work authorization status by first providing information to authenticate his identity, and subsequently providing work authorization information based in part on information normally provided on Form I-9 employment documentation.

How does it work?

E-Verify Self Check involves a two-step process:
1) Identity authentication of the individual; and
2) An E-Verify query to confirm the individual’s current work authorization status.

Identity authentication

The first step, identity authentication, utilizes a third party Identity Proofing (IdP) service to generate knowledge-based questions based on commercial identity verification information, collected by third party companies from financial institutions, public records, and other service providers. The information accessed by the IdP may include information, such as the individual’s commercial transaction history, mortgage payments, or past addresses. An individual must correctly answer these knowledge-based questions generated by the IdP in order to authenticate his identity and enable him to use E-Verify Self Check.

A major drawback seen in this is that if there is not enough commercial identity verification information from financial institutions, public records, and other service providers to generate two questions, the individual’s identity cannot be authenticated and he will not be able to continue through E-Verify Self Check.

If there is sufficient information to generate two to four questions, the IdP will evaluate the answers to the questions and return a pass/fail indicator to USCIS. As a privacy policy neither the questions asked by the IdP service nor the answers provided by the individual are retained by the IdP. The IdP will send a transaction number, the reason for failure, the date and time of the transaction, and an error code to E-Verify, to facilitate troubleshooting and system management.

E-Verify Check

If the individual is able to answer the questions; his identity is authenticated, a pass indicator is returned to E-Verify, and the individual will continue through E-Verify Self Check. E-Verify will receive a pass indication and the name, date of birth, and SSN (if provided) will be provided back to E-Verify.

The IdP passes the name, date of birth and SSN (if provided). The individual will be required to enter additional information based on the documentation he would present to an employer for the Form I-9 process. The additional information collected from an individual depends on his citizenship status and the document chosen to present for work authorization. This could include: citizenship status; Alien Number (if non-citizen); passport number; Form I-94 number; and/or lawful permanent resident card or work authorization document (EAD) number. This represents the same information that is collected for the Form I-9 process and the basic E-Verify query.

E-Verify Self Check will query E-Verify through a web service connection and will present either an indication that an individual’s information matched government records and that E-Verify would have found the individual work-authorized or that the information is a possible mismatch to government records. If the individual receives a “possible mismatch with SSA/Immigration Information” response, E-Verify Self Check will provide guidance on how to correct potential errors in the records. The individual will be asked whether they would like to resolve the mismatch or not. If the individual chooses not to resolve the mismatch, E-Verify will close the case.

Benefits of E-Verify Self Check

• The main benefit of E-Verify Self Check is to facilitate the identification and correction of potential errors in federal databases that provide inputs into the E-Verify system thereby improving the E-Verify process for both the employee and the employer.
• Prior to the introduction of E-Verify Self Check, an individual did not have the ability to identify potential issues associated with his work authorization status until after receiving adverse notification from employers. E-Verify Self Check provides a vehicle for an individual to proactively check work authorization status prior to the employer conducting the E-Verify inquiry.

Disclaimer: The content of this post does not constitute direct legal advice and is designed for informational purposes only. Any issues regarding compliance and obligations under United States or International laws or regulations should be addressed through your legal department or outside counsel.