The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on October 17, 2013 that E-Verify is once again available for use by employers following the end of the government shutdown. During the government shutdown, E-Verify users were unable to access their accounts, verify the employment authorization of new hires, or reconcile any pending tentative non-confirmations in E-Verify. Now that E-Verify is again available, DHS has released guidance and instructions to employers who were impacted by E-Verify’s temporary unavailability.
Extension of the Three Day Rule: Under normal circumstances, employers have three days from the date of hire to create a new E-Verify case for new hires. Due to the unavailability of E-Verify, DHS has announced that employers will have until November 5, 2013 to create new E-Verify cases for any employees hired during the shutdown. In the event the E-Verify software requires a reason for the lateness of the case, DHS has instructed employers to choose the “other” option from the drop-down list and enter “federal government shutdown” in the text field.
Handling Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs): DHS has also clarified that employers should add 12 federal business days to the date printed on any TNC referral letter generated for employees who received a TNC between September 17, 2013 and September 30, 2013, and who were not able to resolve the TNC with either DHS or the Social Security Administration (SSA) due to the shutdown. Employees with TNCs generated during this timeframe will have until the new deadline to resolve their cases with either DHS or SSA. For any employees who decided to contest a TNC during the shutdown period, employers are instructed to now initiate the TNC referral process in E-Verify.
Handling Final Non-Confirmations (FNCs): For employees who received an FNC or no-show because of the government shutdown, employers are advised to close the case and select one of the following two options in E-Verify: (1) “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a Final Non-Confirmation result,” or (2) “The employee continues to work for the employer after receiving a No Show result.” The employer should then enter a new case in E-Verify for that individual employee in order to re-initiate the TNC process, which will allow the employee an opportunity to go back and timely contest the original TNC result that led to a final non-confirmation.
Federal Contractors: DHS has advised federal contractors that missed E-Verify deadlines because of the government shutdown to follow the instructions above for resolving any outstanding E-Verify issues, and to communicate with their contracting officers regarding these instructions and any steps being taken to resolve the missed deadlines.