E-Verify Is Back Up, Expect Processing Delays

Hires made during the government shutdown must be entered by Feb. 11

January 28, 2019
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​Employers that participate in E-Verify, the government's electronic employment eligibility verification program, have until Feb. 11 to create and enter cases into the system for all hires made during the 35-day partial government shutdown.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which manages the program, announced that E-Verify has resumed operations, but patience will be required from users as the service is restored.

[SHRM members-only resource page: I-9 Compliance]

"Expect delays due to the sheer volume of past E-Verify cases that need to be created, in addition to the fact that employers continue to hire every day and that adds to the queue of cases being created," said Montserrat Miller, a partner in the Atlanta office of Arnall Golden Gregory. "Employers, you only have a little over two weeks to bring yourself into compliance with the E-Verify requirements given the Feb. 11, 2019 deadline."

Miller reminded HR professionals that "a case needs to be created for all employees you hired for whom a Form I-9 was completed but you could not create a case in E-Verify because the system was offline due to the shutdown."

USCIS instructed that employers use the hire date from the employee's Form I-9 when creating an E-Verify case. If the case creation date is more than three days following the worker's start date, select "Other" from the drop-down list asking for an explanation and enter "E-Verify Not Available" as the reason.

"Any pending tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) that you and/or your newly hired employee were not able to resolve due to the shutdown needs to be resolved at this time," Miller said.

If an employee has received a TNC and notified HR of his or her intention to contest it by Feb. 11, employers must add 10 federal business days to the date on the worker's "Referral Date Confirmation" notice. That's the date by which the employee must contact the Social Security Administration or Department of Homeland Security to begin resolving the TNC.

Federal business days are Monday through Friday and do not include federal holidays.

There's no need to add days to the referral date for TNC cases after E-Verify resumed operations. "If your employee decided to contest the TNC when E-Verify was unavailable, you should now refer the employee's case and follow the TNC process," Miller said.

Federal contractors should contact their contracting officer for more information about the impact of the government shutdown on their operations related to E-Verify.

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