On January 28, 2019, E-Verify resumed operations after being offline for more than a month due to the government shutdown. The program, which allows participating employers to electronically confirm the work eligibility of new hires, was temporarily suspended as a result of the government shutdown. During that time, employers were unable to access their E-Verify accounts and were unable to comply with the program’s regular deadlines, resulting in a backlog of matters that must now be processed.
Participating employers that hired employees while the E-Verify system was down will have until February 11, 2019, to create an E-Verify case for each new employee. If a case is initiated more than three days following an employee’s hire date due to the partial government shutdown, the employer can select “E-Verify Not Available” as the reason for the delay.
An employee will be given an additional 10 federal business days to contest a tentative nonconfirmation (TNC) if the TNC was pending during the time of the shutdown and the employee notifies the employer of his or her intention to contest the TNC by February 11, 2019. In that case, the employer must recalculate the date on the Referral Date Confirmation and provide the employee with a copy of the updated notice. If a TNC was issued after E-Verify resumed operations on January 28, 2019, no additional time will be provided.
During the partial government shutdown, federal contractors were also unable to log into the system, causing many to miss important enrollment deadlines. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that the 35 days that E-Verify was down will not count toward federal contractor compliance deadlines. The guidance encourages federal contractors to “contact [their] contracting officer[s] for more information on federal contractor responsibilities.”
The updated guidance applies only to those E-Verify cases impacted by the suspension of the E-Verify program. Now that the program has resumed normal operations, the standard E-Verify processing deadlines are in effect with no additional grace period. However, E-Verify anticipates processing delays as it works through the backlog of cases.