As of Wednesday night, October 16, the government shutdown is over! After 16 days of waiting and non-operations, the E-Verify system and all associated services are now fully operational.
USCIS sent out an email alert this morning to all subscribers, fully realizing the additional workload the shutdown has caused employers. USCIS has provided a generous allotment of time for employers to fully reintegrate back into the E-Verify system again! Here’s a recap, or access it directly here:
Q: Was the Form I-9 required to be completed for newly hired employees during the 16-day shutdown period?
A: Yes. The Form I-9 is always required to be completed, regardless of whether the E-Verify system is operational or not or whether your organization is enrolled in E-Verify.
Q: Prior to the shutdown, my employee received a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) in the E-Verify system. How many days is USCIS allowing for my employee to resolve the TNC?
A: If an employee had a TNC referred between September 17, 2013 and September 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.’
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. Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee because of a TNC.
Q: What is a federal working day?
A: Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays.
Q: Does Columbus Day, October 14, count as a federal working day, for the purpose of counting 12 federal business days?
A: According to the Office of Personnel Management website, October 14 (Columbus Day) is a federal holiday and does NOT count as a federal working day.
Q: How do I proceed in E-Verify for my employees who received a SSA Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) or DHS No Show result?
A: If an employee received a Final Nonconfirmation (FNC) or No Show because of the federal government shutdown, please close the case and select “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.” The employer 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 (TNC) that led to the FNC result.
Q: Due to the government shutdown, I could not create a case in E-Verify within the 3-Day Rule. What is the guidance on this issue?
A: You must create an E-Verify case for each employee hired during or otherwise affected by the shutdown by November 5, 2013. If you are prompted to provide a reason why the case is late (i.e., does not conform to the three-day rule), select ‘Other’ from the drop-down list of reasons and enter ‘federal government shutdown’ in the field.
Q: My employer is a federal contractor and one of our deadlines occurred during the government shutdown. How should we proceed now?
A: During the federal government shutdown, federal contractors could not enroll or use E-Verify as required by the federal contractor rule. If your organization missed a deadline because E-Verify was unavailable or if it has an upcoming deadline for complying with the federal contractor rule, please follow the instructions above and notify your contracting officer of these instructions.
Q: What guidance should I provide my employees who were affected by the government shutdown from contesting their TNCs?
A: If the federal government shutdown prevented your employee from contesting a Tentative Nonconfirmation (TNC), they will be allowed additional time to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Department of Homeland Security (DHS). If their TNC was referred between September 17, 2013 and September 30, 2013, and they were not able to resolve the mismatch due to the federal government shutdown, they should:
If the employee received a Final Non-Confirmation (FNC) because they could not contact DHS or SSA during the federal government shutdown, or because they could not contact DHS or SSA in the first ten days after the government reopened, the employee should request that the employer re-enter case in E-Verify again.
Employees who have more questions about contesting their TNCs or FNCs can visit the E-Verify website.
Q: Is USCIS customer support operational to answer my E-Verify questions?
A: E-Verify Customer Support expects an increase in requests for assistance. Due to this increase, customers may experience longer than normal delays and response times. For any questions or additional information about how the federal shutdown affects E-Verify, please email E-Verify@dhs.gov. For questions about Form I-9, please visit I-9 Central or email I-9Central@dhs.gov. Employers and employees may also contact E-Verify at 888-464-4218. Customer Support representatives are available Monday through Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm local time.
If you found this FAQ helpful, please share it on social media and with your colleagues! Did you also know that our Guardian I-9 and E-Verify software can help your organization quickly and smoothly get back on track after the government shutdown? We've been monitoring and testing rigorously and the results have been awesome! Find out how we can help your organization here.
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