Immigration Alert: Government Shutdown: What Immigration Services are Affected and How to Deal with the Suspension of E-Verify

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Attorneys & Professionals

Due to the well-publicized impasse between President Trump and Congress, a partial government shutdown is currently in effect. Approximately 25 percent of government functions are shut down. Immigration-related agencies that are impacted by the shutdown include the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its immigration-related components (CBP, ICE, USCIS, CIS Ombudsman) and programs (e.g., E-Verify – see below), the Department of Justice (EOIR), and the Department of State.

What is Not Affected?

What is Affected?

In addition to the limited immigration services indicated in the USCIS release, DHS’s E-Verify services are suspended because of the federal government shutdown. During the suspension, employers cannot access E-Verify accounts. Specifically, employers cannot complete the following tasks:

Additionally, employees are unable to resolve E-Verify Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs) or access myE-verify.

What Should I Do During the E-Verify Suspension?

The DHS announced that the “three-day rule” for creating E-Verify cases does not apply to cases affected by the suspension of E-Verify. Also, the time period to resolve TNCs will be extended for employees; and the number of days that E-Verify is unavailable will not count toward the number of days allotted to resolve TNCs. DHS will issue additional guidance on these deadlines once E-Verify resumes. Employers with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) E-Verify contracts that may be affected should contact their contracting officer to discuss extending relevant deadlines, as necessary.

An employer’s obligation to verify employment eligibility remains in effect during the government shutdown despite the inability to access E-Verify. Employers must still complete Form I-9 no later than the third business day after an employee starts work for pay. Employers should keep track of all new hires during the suspension and add these cases to E-Verify once the system resumes. Employers should not take adverse action against employees who are in an interim case status due to the suspension of E-Verify. During the shutdown, employers should also continue to comply with all other Form I-9 requirements as indicated in the USCIS Employer Handbook and on the USCIS I-9 Central website.

Should you have any questions regarding immigration services or the suspension of E-Verify during the government shutdown, we encourage you to contact your Vorys attorney.