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.