In an effort to increase the usage and visibility of the E-Verify system, USCIS announced on August 15 that it has expanded E-Verify's "Self Check" feature to include residents of 16 additional states and also to now include a new Spanish language version.

Self Check allows job applicants to check their eligibility to work under the E-Verify system before they are hired, affording job applicants a "sneak peak" into the government's data. When using Self Check, job applicants enter the same required identity and work authorization information an employer provides when confirming a new hire through E-Verify.

E-Verify is an Internet-based government system that requires participating employers to enter the employee data from Form I-9 to be confirmed against the Department of Homeland Security and Social Security Administration records. Until recently, E-Verify was only accessible to participating employers as part of the I-9 process.

In March 2011, USCIS initially rolled out the Self Check feature for residents of 5 states and the District of Columbia. With this week's announcement, USCIS has broadened the scope of the program to now include a total of 21 states and the District of Columbia: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

A copy of the announcement can be accessed here.