Employers Should Expect Delays
The recent partial government shutdown was the longest in history, lasting 35 days from Dec. 22, 2018 through Jan. 25, 2019. While many programs and services were affected during the shutdown, one program in particular impacted U.S. employers and background check companies: E-Verify, the electronic employment eligibility verification program maintained by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Backlogs and questions
Although E-Verify is now back up and running, the lapse of service during the shutdown created backlogs and questions. Regarding the backlogs, E-Verify Web service customers should expect extended processing times as the agency works through the accumulated cases. As for the questions, here’s the latest information from the Official Website of the Department of Homeland Security and USCIS.
- Employment Eligibility Form (Form I-9): Although E-Verify operations were suspended during the shutdown, employers were still required to complete and retain a Form I-9 for every person hired in the U.S. during the shutdown period.
- E-Verify: Employers can create cases now that E-Verify is back up and running.
- 11, 2019: The deadline for creating an E-Verify case for all employees hired during the shutdown (when the program was not available).
- Tentative Nonconfirmations: For all employees with intentions to contest tentative nonconfirmations by Feb. 11, 2019, employers must revise the date by which they contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) or DHS.
- To do this, add 10 federal business days to the date on the employee’s “Referral Date Confirmation” notice, and provide the employee with a revised notice.
- For cases referred after E-Verify resumed operations, do not add days to the time the employee has to contact either SSA or DHS.
- Federal Contractor Deadlines: Any calendar day during which E-Verify was unavailable due to the lapse in appropriations should not count toward the federal contractor deadlines found in the Employment Eligibility Verification Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Though the federal government and E-Verify are fully operational now, another potential shutdown could occur in coming weeks if Congress can’t agree on an appropriations bill by Feb. 15, 2019. To stay updated on this evolving issue and others like it that could impact your organization, bookmark and regularly visit the First Advantage blog. For more details on the above information from the DHS and USCIS, click here.