U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced Oct. 17, 2013, that the E-Verify employment eligibility verification system has resumed operations following the resolution of the federal government shutdown.
Since the shutdown began Oct. 1, the system’s features and services had been unavailable.
The agency also announced it will accept late I-129 petitions under the H-1B highly skilled guestworker, H-2A agricultural guestworker and H-2B low-skilled, nonagricultural guestworker programs because of the federal government shutdown.
USCIS addressed the following issues for how to proceed now that E-Verify has resumed operations.
The Three-Day Rule
By Nov. 5, 2013, employers must create an E-Verify case for each employee hired during the shutdown. When prompted to provide a reason why the case is late, select “Other” from the drop-down list of reasons and enter “federal government shutdown” in the field.
Dealing with Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs)
If an employee had a TNC referred between Sept. 17-30, 2013, and was not able to resolve the TNC due to the federal government shutdown, add 12 federal business days to the date printed on the “Referral Letter” or “Referral Date Confirmation.”
Federal business days are Monday through Friday and do not include federal holidays.
Employees have until this new date to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to resolve their cases. If you have an employee who decided to contest his or her TNC while E-Verify was unavailable, you should now initiate the referral process in E-Verify.
Dealing with SSA Final Nonconfirmations (FNCs) or DHS No Show Results
If an employee received an FNC or No Show because of the federal government shutdown, USCIS advises closing the case and selecting “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Final Nonconfirmation result,” or “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a No Show result.”
Employers must then enter a new case in E-Verify for that employee. “These steps are necessary to ensure the employee is afforded the opportunity to timely contest and resolve the Tentative Nonconfirmation that led to the FNC result,” the agency said.
Federal Contractor Deadlines
During the federal government shutdown, federal contractors could not enroll or use E-Verify as required by the federal contractor regulations. If your organization missed a deadline because E-Verify was unavailable or if it has an upcoming deadline for complying with the federal contractor regulations, please follow the instructions above and notify your contracting officer of these instructions.
E-Verify Customer Support expects that customers will experience longer than normal delays and response times in requests for assistance. For any questions or additional information about how the federal shutdown affects E-Verify, please e-mail E-Verify@dhs.gov. Employers and employees may also contact E-Verify at 888-464-4218. Customer Support representatives are available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Follow him at @SHRMRoy
Immigration Processing Impacted by Government Shutdown, SHRM Online Global HR, October 2013
Complying with E-Verify During the Government Shutdown, SHRM Online Global HR, October 2013
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