22 March 2011

US Visa and immigration status can now be checked online by workers

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Prospective workers can now check their status online for potentially inaccurate US immigration records thanks to a new program aimed at limiting bureaucratic mix-ups, the Department of Homeland Security said.


US Visa and immigration information can be checked online by workers to ensure the details are correct.

The program is an extension of E-Verify, an electronic system that almost 250,000 companies rely on to ensure that new employees have a US Visa or the right to work in the US.

E-Verify Self Check, initially available for people in a limited number of states, uses the personal information workers provide online to identify typographical errors and outdated information, such as name changes, in federal records that incorrectly flag a worker as illegal.

Previously, immigrant advocates and the New York-based American Civil Liberties Union have criticized E-Verify for using federal databases they say are full of inaccuracies.

Alejandro Mayorkas, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, said: prospective employees using Self Check “can learn of any such problems ahead of time and clear them up.”

New workers identified by E-Verify as potentially ineligible have eight business days to resolve the problem.

Initially only residents of Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Mississippi, Virginia and the District of Columbia will be able to use the service, but the program will be expanded nationwide in the next 12 months.

The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their  ESTA to the US Embassy.

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