Government Shutdown Update: E-Verify and E-Verify Services Unavailable
On December 22, 2018 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) posted notice that due to the lapse in federal funding the E-Verify website will not be actively managed and will not be updated until funding resumes. Although some online resources will remain available for employers or employees to review, webinars, myE-Verify accounts, Form I-9 and E-Verify telephone support will not be available.
Understandably, employers may be concerned about how to proceed with hiring or maintaining their E-Verify account. Employers are encouraged to review the guidance on the E-Verify website outlining how to proceed with employment verification during the outage.
Several E-Verify policies have been implemented to assist employers during this time to minimize employer burden:
- The “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify.
- The time period during which employees may resolve “tentative nonconfirmations” (TNCs) will be extended. The number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving their TNCs.
- USCIS and DHS will provide additional guidance regarding “three-day rule” and time period to resolve TNCs deadlines once operations resume.
- Employers may not take adverse action against an employee because the E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the employee’s case is in an extended interim case status due to the unavailability of E-Verify.
- Federal contractors with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify clause should contact their contracting officer to inquire about extending federal contractor deadlines.
Although the use of E-Verify and live support are not available, employers that are actively hiring should proceed with the use of I-9’s and verify employment eligibility as required. The E-Verify website states:
“The lapse in government appropriations does not affect Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification requirements. Employers must still complete Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay, and comply with all other Form I-9 requirements outlined in the Handbook for Employers (M-274) and on I-9 Central.”
ThinkHR will continue to monitor and report on E-Verify developments that impact employers and their employees.