On October 6, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new web-based compliance tool for employees called myE-Verify. The new website will serve as a companion tool to E-Verify, the free Internet-based system employers can use to compare information on employee I-9 Employment Eligibility Verifications with records from the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. E-Verify was first introduced in 1997 and is now used by over 500,000 employers nationwide. Enrollment in E-Verify is mandatory for federal agencies and federal government contractors and many states have laws mandating the use of E-Verify by employers in specific situations.
myE-Verify is a website that allows individuals to create a unique and secure account to review their employment eligibility using the same online tools and databases employers who participate in E-Verify use. The first step in creating an employee myE-Verify account is to visit http://www.uscis.gov/mye-verify and utilize Self Check, a component of E-Verify that allows anyone over the age of 16 to enter their identifying information in a secure website. Once the data is entered, Self Check either confirms the individual’s employment eligibility or declares a mismatch between data entered by the individual and the information in government records. In the event of a mismatch, Self Check provides instructions for the individual to correct erroneous records with the appropriate federal agency. This way, potential employees can be certain that their employment eligibility is properly reflected in E-Verify prior to accepting an offer of employment and completing the I-9 process.
Once an individual has completed Self Check and created a myE-Verify account, he or she can take advantage of additional tools and services, including Self Lock, which allows individuals to lock their social security numbers to prevent fraud, and myResources, a section of the website containing educational materials in a multimedia format to inform employees of their rights and the responsibilities of employers in the employment eligibility verification process.
Participation in myE-Verify is completely voluntary, and employers cannot require an employee or potential employee to use Self Check or myE-Verify. If an individual chooses not to create a myE-Verify account, he or she may still use the Self Check tool to confirm employment eligibility by visiting https://myeverify.uscis.gov/self-check/index.html. Employers must remember that even if a new employee has used Self Check or myE-Verify, they must still complete the I-9 process in full.
At this time, myE-Verify is available to anyone in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia and Washington, D.C. It will be rolled out nationally in future releases.
*Thank you to Paralegal Frank Drust for his contributions to this article.