Client Alert: My E-VERIFY Offers Social Security Self Lock to Texans

January 15, 2015

On January 13, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expanded the availability of creating myE-Verify accounts and the use of the Self Lock feature to 16 additional states including Texas, New York and California. MyE-Verify relates to E-Verify, which is an internet-based system that allows a business to determine the eligibility of an employee to work in the U.S. lawfully. Employers should consider providing this information to employees as a part of on-going efforts to reduce identity theft.

MyE-Verify is a free, web-based service that provides benefits such as allowing an individual to verify their work eligibility data held in the E-Verify database (Self Check) and to help prevent identity theft through a Self Lock feature regarding Social Security numbers.

The Self Lock feature allows individuals to protect their identity by placing a lock on their Social Security number, which helps prevent the use of your Social Security number by others with an E-Verify employer. The locking function is valid for one year and must be renewed. There is no cost to use the function or the creation of an account in myE-Verify.

MyE-Verify also contains the Self Check benefit originally announced in March of 2011. The Self Check function allows an individual to determine if E-Verify information can confirm his or her work eligibility.

For those considering using myE-Verify, it is important to be ready with information related to prior banking/mortgages/loans as well as address information. Creating your own myE-Verify account requires that the applicant provide answers to several identity-based questions that are usually tied to historical financial and residential data. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to confirm work eligibility within the E-Verify system due to data errors. So attempting to figure out what the E-Verify database may or may not reflect regarding work eligibility is a useful exercise for employees.

If you would like further information, please contact Kathleen Campbell Walker, the head of Cox Smith's Immigration Practice Group.

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