Due to the government shutdown, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that E-Verify is unavailable as of October 1, 2013, as are customer support and related services. USCIS has suspended certain rules and policies pertaining to entry and verification for employers during the emergency furlough. Once the government reopens, USCIS will provide guidance on accessing, verifying or reverifying, and reconfirming employment eligibility for employees that arose during the shutdown.
While E-Verify is inaccessible, employers are still responsible for executing and maintaining the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form for all hires and current and former employees. USCIS has suspended the three (3) day entry rule for employee employment eligibility verification using E-Verify only during the government shutdown. If an employee is hired or was hired within three days of the government shutdown, the employer cannot enter the necessary information into E-Verify, but “must still complete the Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay.” Additional guidance will be provided on entering the information later into E-Verify once the government reopens.
The following E-Verify services through employer accounts will be inaccessible during the government shutdown:
• Enroll any company in E-Verify
• Verify employment eligibility
• View or take action on any case
• Add, delete or edit any User ID
• Reset passwords
• Edit your company information
• Terminate an account
• Run reports
• View ‘Essential Resources.’ (However, information, manuals, and resources are still available on-line)
Neither employers nor employees will be able to “resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations [(TNC)]” while the government is on emergency furlough. USCIS has extended the period in which employer’s must resolve TNCs, and reports that “[d]ays the federal government is closed will not count towards the eight federal government workdays the employee has to go to SSA or contact DHS.” Federal contractors who must comply with federal contractor rules are encouraged to contact their “contracting officer to inquire about extending deadlines.”
USCIS has also suspended all support services relative to E-Verify for the duration of the shutdown. USCIS will be unable to respond to queries during this time. Employers may send email queries, but USCIS will be unable to respond to the emails until the government reopens. Any webinars or training sessions scheduled during the shutdown are cancelled and rescheduling will be determined when the government reopens. The E-Verify Self Check is also unavailable on-line.
USCIS warns employers that even though E-Verify and support services are unavailable, “Employers may not take any adverse action against an employee.” Please consult the E-Verify User Manual concerning “interim case statuses.”
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