U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that E-Verify has resumed operations following the recent 35-day partial U.S. Government Shutdown. Heavy delays are expected as the service is restored.
E-Verify, the electronic immigration system that employers use to confirm employees’ eligibility to work within the United States, was unavailable during the longest federal government shutdown in history, which lasted from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019. As of January 28, 2019, all E-Verify services are again available for use.
Employers that participate in E-Verify have been granted until February 11, 2019 to create and enter cases for all hires made during the 35-day partial government shutdown. Therefore, over the next two weeks, we expect a significant surge in the number E-Verify cases created, in addition to employers’ regular hiring schedules.
Prepare accordingly – we highly recommend that you not wait until February 10th to begin submitting your E-Verify cases. Start early and avoid any potential last-minute surges and delays, including delays in support channels.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced directions for employees who have received a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) case result—this refers to the instance when information entered in E-Verify does not match records available to DHS or the Social Security Administration (SSA). Any TNC that an employer or newly-hired employee was unable to resolve due to the shutdown, now needs to be resolved.
* Official USCIS Guidance
Per Tracker Corp’s official USCIS contact, the following guidance supersedes the outdated guidance found on the USCIS website.
“If your employee received a TNC and notified you by Dec. 21, 2018 of his or her intention to take action to resolve the TNC, you (the employer) must revise the date on the employee’s ‘Referral Date Confirmation’ to Feb. 11, 2019. You must then give the revised notice to your employee. Your employee must contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) and/or DHS to begin resolving the TNC by Feb. 11, 2019.
“If the lapse in appropriations prevented you (the employee) from contesting your Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), you will be allowed additional time to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS to begin the process of resolving your TNC. If the date on your ‘Referral Date Confirmation’ contains a date from Dec. 22, 2018 until Jan. 27, 2018, your employer should update this date to Feb. 11, 2019: You must then contact SSA and/or DHS by Feb. 11, 2018, to begin the process of resolving your TNC.”
* Please note, DHS’ directions for revising employee Referral Dates applies only to TNC cases that were referred before January 28, 2019. For TNC cases that were referred after E-Verify resumed operations, employers should not add days to the time their employees have to contact either SSA or DHS.
* For reference, Federal Business Days are Monday through Friday and do not include federal holidays.
* The employer may reprint a copy of your employee’s “Referral Date Confirmation” by logging in to E-Verify, selecting your employee’s case and selecting the “Print Confirmation” button.
DHS has directed that any calendar day during which E-Verify was unavailable because of the government shutdown should not count towards the federal contractor deadlines as outlined in the Employment Eligibility Verification Federal Acquisition Regulation. Nonetheless, Tracker strongly recommends that federal contractors contact their contracting officer for more information regarding how the government shutdown has impacted their E-Verify operations.
Here is more information about E-Verify for federal contractors.
Delays in E-Verify Support
Along with the influx in new E-Verify cases created, DHS expects significant delays in E-Verify support channels, including longer than normal delays and response times.
Employers and employees may contact the following E-Verify support channels:
USCIS I-9 Central:
Employers with questions or concerns about their E-Verify and Form I-9 obligations following the government shutdown may also consult directly with an Form I-9 and E-Verify expert.
Need direct E-Verify support following the government shutdown?
Tracker is here to help.
Tracker Corp specializes in Form I-9 and E-Verify Compliance. Backed by an award-winning Immigration Law Firm, Tracker is the only I-9 Suite with a perfect 15+ year track record of Zero Client Fines in federal and ICE audits.