The U.S. government has launched a Spanish-language version of E-Verify Self Check on the Internet that allows users to find out whether they can work legally in the country or not, and shows them how to correct any errors on their documents.

The English-language service of E-Verify Self Check that began in March has been extended to another 16 states, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said.

The program offers workers "fast, secure access to their employment eligibility information before they apply for jobs," USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas said.

"By offering Self Check to Spanish speakers and making the service more widely available, USCIS makes good on a promise to streamline and protect the integrity of the E-Verify process for employees and employers alike," he said.

The program works the same as the one used by companies to check the immigration status of their employees: every worker over 16 enters his or her information in E-Verify, which then compares it with the Social Security and Department of Homeland Security databases.

"The program lets people find out if there are any errors or discrepancies in their files and what steps to take to correct them, either through Social Security or the DHS," USCIS spokeswoman Luz Figuereo told Efe.

As of Aug. 6, 281,172 companies had signed up for E-Verify, representing a total of 930,933 worksites nationwide, Figuereo said.

So far in fiscal year 2011, which began last Oct. 1, E-Verify has processed more than 14.2 million applications to have immigration data checked.

With its latest expansion, Self Check's service in English will now be available in a total of 21 states, including Arizona, California, Maryland and New York, as well as in the District of Columbia.

The goal of USCIS is to extend the service to the entire country by the second quarter of 2012.