E-Verify Not Available During Government Shutdown

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

January 3, 2019

In addition to closing national parks and museums, stopping most IRS operations and furloughing thousands of government employees, the ongoing government shutdown has also shuttered the federal E-Verify program.

E-Verify is a web-based program that allows an employer to electronically verify that a newly hired employee is authorized to work in the US. It compares the information provided on the employee's Form I-9 against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) databases.

Participating in E-Verify establishes a presumption that the employer did not knowingly hire an employee who is unauthorized to work in the US.

E-Verify services became unavailable when the government shut down on December 22, 2018. While the program is down, employers will not be able to enroll in E-Verify, create new cases, take actions on existing cases and more.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the DHS have implemented certain policies intended to minimize the burden on employers:

  • Suspending the three-day rule for creating E-Verify cases for situations affected by the unavailability of E-Verify; and
  • Extending the time period during which employees may resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) will be extended (the number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days employees have to begin the process of resolving their TNCs).

The agencies said they will provide further guidance regarding these policies once operations resume. In the meantime, employers may not take adverse action against an employee because his or her E-Verify case is in an interim case status, including while the case is in an extended interim case status due to the unavailability of E-Verify.