E-Verify has resumed operations following the government shutdown. This federal government system used by many employers to confirm eligibility of employees to work in the United States had been closed during the 35-day shutdown.
While enrolling in E-Verify is mostly voluntary, once an employer is enrolled in E-Verify, it is critical to follow the rules and associated timelines with creating E-Verify cases for new hires. During the shutdown, employers were unable to create E-Verify cases for new hires including those employees hired just before the shutdown and those hired during the shutdown. It is important to remember during the shutdown, employers were still required to timely complete Form I-9. Now that the shutdown is over, it is imperative employers take the following steps immediately:
- Creating E-Verify Cases: Create an E-Verify case for every employee hired during (or just prior to) the shutdown by February 11, 2019. Use the date of hire from the employee’s Form I-9. If the E-Verify case creation date is more than three days after the date the employee began working for pay, select the option for “Other” in the drop down menu and enter “E-Verify Not Available” as the reason.
- Handling TNCs: If an employee received a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC) before E-Verify resumed, and the employee has notified the employer of his or her intention to contest the TNC by February 11, 2019, the employer should revise the date by which the employee must contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve the TNC. Specifically, the employer should add 10 federal business days to the date on the “Referral Date Confirmation” notice and provide the revised notice to the employee (the employer may revise the dates on the hard copy of the notice after printing a copy). Federal business days are Monday through Friday and do not include federal holidays. This extended deadline does not apply to TNC cases referred after E-Verify resumed operations.
- Advising Federal Contractors: DHS guidance is that any calendar day during which E-Verify was unavailable during the shutdown should not count toward the federal contractor deadlines. Federal contractors must consult with their contracting officer as to how to proceed.
As a result of the lengthy shutdown, E-Verify anticipates there will be delays in processing times and in responses to requests for assistance. Employers who utilize E-Verify will need to remain alert in the event there is another government shutdown in February. Please contact your Fox Rothschild Immigration Attorney with any questions.