On Friday, January 25, President Trump signed a short-term budget which allows the government to re-open for three weeks, ending the longest government shutdown in history. E-Verify was not available during the shutdown because its authorization had lapsed. With a new temporary reauthorization in place, E-Verify has now resumed operations through at least February 15, 2019.
While E-Verify was unavailable, we provided our readers with guidance from USCIS. Importantly, employers were still obligated to complete Form I-9 within the required time period for any new hires onboarded during the shutdown. However, E-Verify users could not create a new case to verify the employment authorization of new hires.
Now that normal operations have resumed, USCIS has issued updated guidance for employers on continuing E-Verify procedures. Specifically, the agency has advised:
- New E-Verify cases must be created by February 11, 2019 for each employee hired while E-Verify was not available. USCIS states that“You must use the hire date from the employee’s Form I-9 when creating the E-Verify case. If the case creation date is more than three days following the date the employee began working for pay, select ‘Other’ from the drop-down list and enter ’E-Verify Not Available’ as the specific reason.”
- If any new cases result in a Tentative Nonconfirmation (“TNC”), and the employee has stated he or she will contest it by February 11, the employer must revise the date by which the employee must contact the Social Security Administration or the Department of Homeland Security to resolve the TNC.To calculate the deadline, an employer is to add 10 federal business days to the date on its employee’s “Referral Date Confirmation” notice.
- For Federal Contractors, the time in which E-Verify was not available will not count towards the federal contractor deadlines pursuant to the Federal Acquisition Regulation.Businesses are urged to their contracting officer for more information.