U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Reveals "myE-Verify"

On October 6, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of its "myE-Verify" website.  According to USCIS, myE-Verify is "a one-stop shop for employees to create and maintain secure personal accounts and access new features for identity protection" and "signifies a significant step forward for added transparency, features, and identity protection" related to E-Verify.  

E-Verify is the Internet-based program that allows employers to compare information on an employee's Form I-9 with certain federal government records to verify the employee's identity and work authorization.  The myE-Verify system includes three features: "Self Check," "Self Lock," and "myResources."  

Self Check, as previously reported by Littler (E-Verify Self Check Now Available Nationwide), allows individuals to confirm their eligibility to work in the United States by entering the same information used by employers in performing E-Verify inquiries, taking the mystery out of the employment eligibility verification process and allowing workers to resolve records discrepancies before accepting a new job.  

Self Lock is a newer feature and allows a registered myE-Verify user to put a lock on his or her Social Security Number (SSN).  If the SSN is subsequently used in E-Verify to obtain employment authorization, it will result in a "Self Lock Mismatch" unless the employee first unlocks the SSN through myE-Verify.  Self Lock, as described by USCIS, is designed "to prevent unauthorized or fraudulent use within E-Verify" by empowering users to "proactively protect their identities from being used by others to illegally gain employment."  The third feature of myE-Verify – myResources – includes information on employer responsibilities and employee rights under E-Verify. 

USCIS will initially offer myE-Verify accounts to individuals in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.  USCIS anticipates eventually rolling out myE-Verify nationwide. 

Currently, myE-Verify is a voluntary program.  Unless USCIS issues guidance to the contrary, employers should refrain from requiring employees to participate in myE-Verify or produce proof of being cleared by the program. 

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.