People living in California may have to wait until April 2012 to use the federal government's new website that allows users to check on their own employment eligibility.
The new program, called E-Verify Self Check, was launched Monday and for the first time ever enables potential workers to see if they can be legally employed before they apply for a job instead of having to rely on an employer to investigate their status and then deliver the good or bad news.
But so far, despite having one of the largest populations of immigrants and job seekers, California cannot access the program.
A spokeswoman from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services tells LA Weekly that there is no set timetable for when people in California will be able use the service, but that it should be within the next 12 months.
At the moment, the service is only available to people using computers located in Arizona, Idaho, Colorado, Mississippi, Virginia and Washington, DC.
The program is a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, and the website is touted by its creators as "free, fast and secure."
Users not only can check their employment eligibility, but can also submit corrections or note inaccuracies in their Homeland Security or Social Security records prior to seeking a job.
Importantly, the results of the Self Check will not be shared with potential employers.
"The E-Verify Self Check service will help protect workers and streamline the E-Verify process for businesses," DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement.
But only in five states and the District. At least for now.