It took a few days, but the E-Verify system is down due to the partial government shutdown which started at 12:01 am Saturday the 22nd of December.  One of the agencies affected by the partial government shutdown is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is the agency that runs the E-Verify program.  E-Verify and E-Verify services are offline and will remain so until the government is again funded.  This partial shutdown may continue into the new year so employers should prepare themselves by keeping track off all new hires during the shutdown so that cases can be created once the system is back online.

What does it mean that E-Verify is offline?  Employers and E-Verify Employer Agents will not be able to create cases in E-Verify. VERY IMPORTANT! Just because E-Verify is offline, it does not mean that employers do not need to complete the employment eligibility verification form (the “Form I-9”).  The requirement to complete and maintain the Form I-9 for all new hires within three business days of hire is a separate requirement and employers must continue to complete the Form I-9 for all new hires as well as re-verify the work authorization of employees whose authorization is expiring.  The lapse in government funding does not affect the Form I-9 requirement.

Back to E-Verify.  DHS issued this statement about the “three-day rule” and pending Tentative Non-Confirmations (TNCs) and how to handle such during the partial government shutdown.

From DHS: “We understand that E-Verify’s unavailability may have a significant impact on employer operations. To minimize the burden on both employers and employees, the following policies have been implemented:

  • The “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases is suspended for cases affected by the unavailability of E-Verify.
  • The time period during which employees may resolve TNCs will be extended. The number of days E-Verify is not available will not count toward the days the employee has to begin the process of resolving their TNCs….”

The Federal government is operational again.  That means, among other things, that the E-Verify system is back!   You may recall that immediately after the partial government shutdown due to Congress’ inability to pass a measure to continue funding the Federal government on October 1st it was lights out for E-Verify.  Read this posting for more on that.

Starting today, employers can again login to E-Verify and use the electronic employment eligibility verification system.  Wondering what to do for those new hires you couldn’t run through the system within the mandated three-day period due to the more than two week government shutdown?  Here’s what USCIS is saying about that and the timeline employers must operate under:

Creating Cases: Three-Day Rule

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.

To read the USCIS announcement regarding E-Verify being operational again, click here.  This announcement will, among other things, also tell you how to address pending Tentative Nonconfirmation (“TNC”) situations which were also impacted by the government shutdown.

Happy E-Verifying Again!!