Immigration and firm news

New “MyE-Verify” for Employees Released by USCIS

USCIS has released a new website page called “MyE-Verify” where employees can check their database records to verify work authorization. MyE-Verify is presently available in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.  This should be useful for all job seekers when looking for work, as more employers use E-Verify to document the work permission of their new hires.  The website includes the ability to do Self-checks, which includes instructions on what to do if there is a discrepancy.  Self-Check is available for everyone now.  Self-check also permits ability to check on Social Security status.  Although intended to be very secure, users should know that they could be asked among other identifying questions about “personal property” and “credit questions relating to a mortgage or home equity loan, auto loan, personal installment loan, student loan and credit.”

Use of MyE-Verify is strictly voluntary.  It is unlawful for an employer to require a job applicant or new hire to submit proof of status from MyE-Verify. Further, the employer cannot discriminate among employees.  A positive Self Check result should not be a condition of membership into any group or organization. And a federal, state or local agency or a private party cannot require you to have a positive Self Check result in order to receive any benefit, service or good.

Receiving a notice of a mismatch in your SSA or DHS records does not necessarily mean that you are not authorized to work. Your mismatch will not be reported except as required by law. For more information about your rights in the Self Check or MyE-Verify program, please look in the Questions and Answers section of this website.

The MyE-Verify site also includes a new “Self-Lock” feature that allows users to “lock” their Social Security number which will supposedly present another person from using their number to obtain a job.  When an employer hires a new person and if using E-Verify, they will input the new hire’s social security number provided on Form I-9 or W-4s to conduct a work authorization verification.  Many undocumented workers and those engaged in identity theft (including Americans) often use stolen or made up Social Security numbers to get jobs. To learn more about employer and employee rights and responsibilities, see myResources. However, it is really important to understand that you can unlock your SSN through myE‑Verify at any time. If you are applying for jobs, you should unlock your SSN in case your employer uses E‑Verify. If there is a mismatch, the system provides instructions on how to resolve issues and whom to call.

There are a number of reasons both immigrants and US citizens could have work authorization or mismatches unrelated to foul play/identity theft.  Name changes and failure to update Social Security is one common reason.  Another is changing from green card status to naturalization, owing to a glitch in the Social Security system.  New citizens are advised to visit their Social Security office immediately upon becoming a citizen.  Other issues include changing from a previously “not valid for employment” annotated Social Security card status to new authorized work authorization.  If you have any questions about status, the Seattle immigration Law Office of Bonnie Stern Wasser is here to help. (206) 282-2279.