What Employers Need to Know about E-Verify Resuming Operations after U.S. Government Shutdown

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

Following a lapse in U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appropriations that made the E-Verify electronic employment eligibility verification system unavailable during a shutdown of the U.S. federal government that lasted from January 20 to 22, 2018, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released information that employers need to know about E-Verify resuming operations.

All U.S. employers must complete and retain Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for each person hired for paid employment after November 6, 1986. This requirement was not affected or suspended by the unavailability of E-Verify, which compares information from an employee’s Form I-9 to data from DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility.

Employers participating in E-Verify must create an E-Verify case by January 29, 2018, for each employee hired while E-Verify was not available. Employers must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case. If an E-Verify case is not created by the third business day after the employee begins work, select “Other” from the drop-down list and enter “E-Verify not Available.”

Employers with employees who received Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) – when information on Form I-9s does not match government data – on January 22, 2018, must revise the date by which their employee must contact the SSA or DHS to begin resolving the TNC by adding one (1) federal business day to the date on the “Referral Date Confirmation” notice and give the revised notice to employees.

Employers prevented from referring TNC cases by the unavailability of E-Verify should continue the TNC process. For TNC cases referred after E-Verify resumed operations, employers should not add days to the time employees have to contact either SSA or DHS. If employees decided to contest the TNC when E-Verify was unavailable, employers should now refer cases of employees and follow the TNC process.

Federal contractors could not enroll or use E-Verify as required by the E-Verify federal contractor rule (FAR) during the shutdown. As a result, any calendar day during which E-Verify was unavailable because of the lapse in appropriations should not count towards any of the federal contractor deadlines. Federal contractors should contact their contracting officer for more information about their responsibilities.

Employees prevented from contesting TNCs because of the unavailability of E-Verify will be given more time to contact the SSA or DHS to resolve TNCs. If referral date confirmation was received on January 22, 2018, employees should add one (1) federal business day to the date on the “Referral Date Confirmation” that their employers provided them and contact either the SSA or DHS by the new date.

E-Verify Customer Support expects an increase in requests for assistance and customers may experience longer than normal delays and response times. For any questions or additional information about the unavailability of E-Verify, email e-verify@dhs.gov. For questions about Form I-9, visit I-9 Central or email I-9central@dhs.gov. Employers and employees may also contact E-Verify at 888-464-4218.

ESR is a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is not your average background screening firm and does not intend to become one. ESR is also a Designated E-Verify Employer Agent that helps employers with Form I-9 compliance. To learn more about ESR E-Verify services, please visit www.esrcheck.com/Background-Checks/Form-I-9-E-Verify/. To learn more about ESR, please visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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